Commenting on the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) plans to fund mandatory mediation for separating couples, Sam Townend KC, Vice Chair of the Bar, said:

"The Bar Council welcomes the consultation announcement and the opportunity it provides to focus on how to address the outstanding case backlogs in the family justice system. The additional money to support mediation is welcome and we will consider the issue of making mediation mandatory. Provision for mediation without allowing for prior legal advice is unlikely to be generally successful and may, in cases where there is a real discrepancy in resources, be detrimental. We look forward to considering the consultation and responding."