DISPUTE RESOLUTION WEEK - The role of mediation24th Sep 2012

by on 24th Sep 2012


EmmaResolution’s Dispute Resolution week coincides with the publication by Mr Justice Ryder of proposals to modernise the family justice system.  The team look at various key proposals each day this week.

Today Emma Hamilton Cole, the Head of the private Family team, Collaborative Practitioner and Mediator, discusses the role of mediation and the potential introduction of mandatory Mediation Information and Assessment Meetings (MIAMs).

When a family dispute arises and legal advice is taken, the option of mediation is normally reviewed at the outset.  During a MIAM, a Mediator will outline the process of mediation and more importantly how it can help to address disputes. The Mediator will also outline other options such as collaborative law or round table meetings including how these may assist and deal with concerns arising about the mediation process.  In this way the option of mediation can be considered as a real alternative to the Court process.

Currently our clients who wish to issue an application in family proceedings are advised to attend a MIAM, but ultimately it is at the discretion of a judge as to whether to continue in the absence of a MIAM. The proposed measures seek to make attendance at a MIAM a mandatory step. Negotiations, mediation, collaborative negotiations and arbitration are all steps which aim help resolve disputes in an amicable, non-confrontational manner. Each process will seek to identify those issues the parties cannot agree on to help them to reach agreement. We see this proposal as a positive step, assisting as an informative stage, toward helping individuals in resolving their family disputes outside the court process.

We are pleased to offer mediation services and advice for participants within mediation as part of the range of dispute resolution options at Coles Miller.

This document is not intended to constitute and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice on any specific matter. No liability for the accuracy of the content of this document, or the consequences of relying on it, is assumed by the author. If you seek further information, please contact Managing Partner Neil Andrews at Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.