MIAMs fall to new low
April 4, 2016 3 comments
The number of mediation information and assessment meetings (MIAMs) has fallen to a new low.
MIAMs have been compulsory for anyone contemplating taking a familiar dispute to court since April 2014. They are designed to encourage participants to explore mediation and consider whether it might be a suitable way to address their dispute. They were previously available on a voluntary basis.
The number of MIAMs plunged following the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) in April 2013. Drastic cuts to legal aid meant fewer people could afford to take their disputes to court or hire solicitors who would then recommend mediation.
Since then MIAM levels have been on an erratic downward trend, finally falling by 16 per cent in the last three months of last year when compared to the previous year. According to the Ministry of Justice, MIAMs now “appear to be stabilising at around half of pre-LASPO levels” – meaning levels in the immediate run-up to the introduction of the legislation.
By contrast, mediation ‘starts’ – i.e. the beginnings of mediation in a particular dispute – and agreements now both stand at around 60 per cent of their levels before LASPO, following an initial falls.
Read more here.
Photo by Tom Page via Flickr
April 4, 2016