The Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, has claimed that improved regulation and harmonised professional standards would help to encourage the take up of family mediation.

During a speech at a conference on family mediation, Mr Djanogly claimed that family mediation has grown “slowly”, saying: “The majority of family mediators work to professional standards administered through their relevant member organisations and these meet the Family Mediation Council’s code of practice.”

However, he added that a “small minority” of family mediators are currently working outside of these arrangements, saying: “We believe it is necessary to move to a position where family mediation works more to a consistent model with harmonised professional standards.

“With further improvements to regulation and standards across all family mediation providers it is my belief that more people will see the benefits and take the mediation route.”

The Justice Minister, also told the delegates that the government would work with family mediation services, through the Family Mediation Council to achieve a harmonised scheme of accreditation across public and privately funded clients; adding: “It’s no secret that I’m an ardent fan of family mediation. Mediation can be quicker, cheaper and provide better outcomes, especially if compared to drawn-out court hearings.

“Used appropriately and early, mediation has the benefit of shaping a resolution to a conflict which can be tailored to the needs of both parties.”

Mr Djanogly also confirmed that legal aid will remain available for mediation in private family law case for those who are eligible.