The President of the Family Division adds his voice to the chorus pushing for increased use of ADR, and particularly mediation, to keep many private family disputes out of the oversubscribed court system.
Sir Andrew McFarlane has suggested that a rebrand might be what is required to ensure families truly understand what is being offered when family practitioners point them in the direction of mediation. Mediation should be viewed as professional help with problem solving. Sir Andrew is concerned that the under-utilised ADR service is too often associated with conciliation, reconciliation and even marriage guidance which may be off putting for many separating couples.
It is hoped that a better understanding of the mediation process, and how it can be tailored to the full breadth of family law disputes, may help with uptake - and as previously considered here could provide the answer to the current court backlog.