Rome is Burning

There was a short period of hope when Simon Hughes MP was appointed a Minister at the MoJ. He had previously spoken out against Price Competitive Tendering and LA cuts and there was brief hope that this might herald a change in policy direction. Alas it did not and in a plot line which could be taken from “The Thick of IT”, as junior coalition partner he just gets to tinker at the edges.

I made this observation when he was ruminating about the need to make Courts more “welcoming places”. Last week he did something similar – That I did not have time to comment right away somewhat makes the above point for me.

Towards the end of the story he cuts to the chase with these 2 questions;

What are the barriers preventing people using family mediation as an alternative to court?
What else can be done to encourage the uptake of family mediation?

Mediation take up has plummeted post LASPO. The single, simple reason for this is that with Private Law out of scope, separating couples don’t go to LA solicitors anymore and consequently they do not get referred in the volumes they used to.

Can it be that his departmental officials have not spotted this and told him?

No amount of web chatter is going to come up with a solution short of reversing the LASPO scope reductions.

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