find the latest legal job
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
4+ PAE Commercial Lawyer - Contract Role (Maternity cover)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· 4+ years PAE · End-to-end deal carriage
View details
Partners and Senior Specialist Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Australia
· Earn 70% of billings and fixed referral incentives · Full practice flexibility & freedom
View details
LIV says free mediation must stay

LIV says free mediation must stay

Federal funding for free mediation services for separating couples should be restored, according to the Law Institute of Victoria. Despite boosting national legal aid funding by $92.3 million in…

Federal funding for free mediation services for separating couples should be restored, according to the Law Institute of Victoria.

Despite boosting national legal aid funding by $92.3 million in the 2010/2011 Budget, the Federal Government has cut funding for Australia's Family Relationship Centres by $44 million and announced the application of a means test for the previously free mediation services.

"While we welcome the Federal Government's budget increase for legal aid, we encourage it to find an alternative to cutting funding for mediation services to fund legal aid. It should not be either legal aid funding or mediation. Both are important services for separating couples," said president of the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV), Steven Stevens.

From 1 July 2011 the first hour of mediation will be free. However, those earning more than $50,000 a year will pay $30 per hour for the second and third hours of mediation. According to Attorney-General Robert McClelland, up to one third of Family Relationship Centre clients are expected to be affected by the new rules.

Stevens said it was shortsighted of the Federal Government to means test mediation services. "This would seem to be a tight-fisted provision when families in dispute are generally obliged to try mediation before commencing proceedings in the Family Court," he said.

According to LIV, as well as the risk of clients staying away, the principle of resolving relationship breakdown at the "front end" of the legal process through mediation instead of a court appearance would be greatly watered down.

"We believe these mediation sessions are useful for separating couples and can help resolve issues at an early stage," Stevens said, adding that not all relationship problems would be suitable for mediation, such as those involving allegations of domestic violence of family abuse.

"Some disputes will only be resolved after legal advice has been received and a small percentage will always need to proceed to a court hearing," he explained.

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

LIV says free mediation must stay
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
06:04
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
06:02
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
Scales of Justice
Jan 17 2018
Lawyers lash out over latest Dutton attack
A number of legal bodies have condemned federal home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s latest commen...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...