Post election, civil and commercial mediation and family mediation can help our creaking justice system.

Civil and commercial mediation, together with family mediation, has an important part to play in restoring confidence in, and easing the burden on, the justice system.  The state of the criminal courts and prisons became topical in the recent election campaign with all three of the main parties.  However, whilst the Liberal Democrats did promote increased legal aid funding and the need to address the family court backlog, the parlous state of the creaking justice system was largely ignored by politicians. This was the case despite the mounting impact backlogs are having on all sectors of society from individuals to businesses. According to figures published in The Law Society Gazette, there were 1.7 m county court claims in 2023 which was an 11% increase on the previous year. That is a lot of compensation claims and unpaid debts amongst other cases all of which have the capacity to blight lives.

Fixing the Civil Justice is critical to public confidence in societal structures and fairness. If we cannot rely on our systems to deliver, then our sense of a well-run and fair society is undermined. Once trust is broken, it is hard if not impossible to restore. Post Churchill, family and civil and commercial mediation and other forms of dispute resolution must play their part to ease the burden on the court system and provide the public with a sense of agency over outcomes to disputes that directly affect their lives. Let’s hope our new Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, as a lawyer and former Director of Public Prosecutions (2008-2013), will now take the steps necessary to restore what is currently an over stretched and precariously fragile justice system.

Sheila Gooderham


Judith Hogarth

Faiza Alleg Dolivet

Elizabeth Bilton

Byron Tyson

Kevin Smyth

Neil Boothroyd

Ann Allen Encontre

Helen Johnson

Appointment service required:

Tim Carter

Sheila Gooderham