Valerie raises access to legal advice at Justice Questions

Valerie drew question 17 at Justice Questions on Tuesday 4th February 2014.

Valerie asked:

“What guarantee can the Minister give that both parties will have access to legal advice before and during mediation?”

Mr Hughes responded:

“At the moment, legal advice and legal aid cover mediation. Someone does not necessarily need legal advice to go into the process, although the mediators may recommend that they need legal advice, which will be available in a legally aided way. It is often necessary to have lawyers involved to draw up the agreement that the mediators have reached, and that will also be publicly fundable by the legal aid service if someone is within the eligibility limits.”