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Mediators revolutionising the British family court system

Mediators in the United Kingdom are revolutionising the British family court system, according to an article in The Independent.

"There are more people training to be mediators than there have ever been," Neil Robinson, vice-chairman of the Family Mediator's Association told the UK paper. "We've had 800 years of an adversarial legal system and it will take a couple of generations for it to set in – but it's getting there."

Applications to train as a mediator at National Family Mediation have more than doubled in the past year and the country's main workplace mediation service TCM, saw applications increase tenfold in the second half of 2011, The Independent reported.

The average cost of mediation in the UK was reported to be between £1,200 and £1,400 – compared with £14,000 for divorce proceedings.

TCM, which focuses on the professional arena, now advises Marks & Spencer, HSBC and BT, as well as a number of Whitehall departments.

According to the article the UK Government is “whole-heartedly backing” the growth of the sector and has spent £25m in support of mediation services.

The Family Justice Review, which was published in November, recommended that all separating couples wishing to make a court application for divorce should first seek mediation.

After the government’s £350m a year planned cuts to legal aid begin, taxpayer funding will no longer be routinely available in most private family law cases, and in disputes over clinical negligence, employment, immigration, some debt and housing issues, some education cases and welfare benefits, The Independent reported.

Last updated on the 3rd June 2015