In brief: Pilot scheme for legally-aided mediation

Legally-aided mediation in divorce cases will be introduced gradually over the next three years in a four-stage pilot scheme. In a consultation paper released last week, the Legal Aid Board proposes to set up 20 to 30 centres around the UK by the summer of 1997. This number will be increased each year until the year 2000, when suppliers, including law firms, will be invited to bid for three-year block contracts. Rosemary Carter, mediation spokeswoman for the Solicitors Family Law Association, said: “We need to know exactly what they're going to research and how, and what the code of practice for mediators will contain.” But Vicki Kemp, a policy adviser at the board, said: “It would be inappropriate to give too much detail at this stage.”