MIAMs fall to new low


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

Stowe Family Law Web Team

View more from this author


Andy - April 4, 2016 at 7:17am

So it ,,comes as no suppressed yet the increased costs of mediation ,in my case first attempt £120.00. Then,ex then never went,then sent a letter in saying she did not have to go..my cost again…Then 8months later,I went again as instructed by my solicitor. (Waste of time),cost was £90.00 sat for 15 mins
All he said was here is your certificate to apply for court…
Over 3months have gone by now found out ex has gone to mediator and refused any sort of agreement.

My moral to this is.Anything the government create,either means disaster for us all,or one big f@@ck up,majority of the time is the latter and yet no cost to them..qualified mediators just get a stream of clients through…what I thought was the way forward to conclude my case is not and in reality you are not obliged to go and what I was told from my CRAP legal advisor was if she didnt go it would be frowned upon in court..how wrong it all is..you don’t have to go and you are wasting your time.

lavinia - April 4, 2016 at 8:37am

Depends if your ex to be has psychiatric issues in which case mediatiob is pointless as it is impossible to reason and negotiate with someone who is not compus mentis.

The Devil's Advocate - April 4, 2016 at 11:03am

Your abstract may be generally correct but not if the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO) is interpreted empirically. If one person in a relationship makes an allegation within 24 months of one of the outlet scenarios within this Act, e.g. any allegation against another of concern, or that a Local Authority has been brought in to assess a family situation, IRRESPECTIVE OF FALSE ALLEGATIONS and non existence of empirical evidence then mediation can be IGNORED. You should have made mention of this in your original blog.

When a Court can find no factual evidence of any form of abuse then mediation must be actioned. This is the weakness of the judicial system in this country and sadly others overseas laugh at our immaturity in this particular situation. Hence the need particularly in Family Law a time to grow up and enact legislation where justice prevails.

Thank you.

Leave a comment