12.110A management committee with representatives of the Family Court, the Judiciary Administrator, the Legal Aid Department, the Department of Justice, the Social Welfare Department, community mediation agencies, the legal and mediators’ professions and organisations, and lastly the Co-ordinator, would oversee the implementation of the pilot project. We recommend a management committee to oversee the implementation of the pilot project.
Training of mediators for a court scheme
12.111The Boshier report recommended that “mediation be assured of a high profile in the Family Court system by insisting on high standards of selection, training, supervision and accreditation of mediators and ongoing accreditation requirements.”1246 We agree with the emphasis of the Boshier report, and recommend that high standards of selection, training, supervision and accreditation should be required of family mediators in any court annexed mediation scheme in Hong Kong.
12.112The Mediation Group and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre have approved a system of accreditation for qualified family mediators. A panel of such mediators is now being established. It is hoped that all qualified family mediators, whether private, community mediators or mediators from the Social Welfare Department will be accredited by this system to ensure the consistency and quality of standards. Having this system approved by government and the Judiciary would make it easier for agencies to receive government funding or subvention. We recommend that the current system of accreditation of qualified family mediators should be approved by government and the Judiciary.
Screening and matching
12.113Benjamin and Irving suggested that the critical question for policy makers was not whether mediation is useful, but how to use it to the best advantage by matching clients with the specific service model best suited to their needs.1247 They recommended a screening process to achieve this end. If the referral and intake service does not make an appropriate “diagnosis”, then the “treatment” suggested may be inappropriate and cause more problems and expense for the system.
12.114When the characteristics of a case are matched to the appropriate dispute resolution process, then such processes as mediation and counselling conferences will be seen as complementing the formal court system. This increases the choice for the consumer and the professionals that advise them. “The availability of an effective alternative and a user friendly process may also have the effect of making lawyers more responsible and accountable in examining their own procedures
1246 Paragraph 5.7.7 of Boshier, “New Zealand Family Law Report” summarised in an article of that name in Family and Conciliation Courts Review, vol. 33, No. 2, April 1995 (182-193).
1247 “Research in Family Mediation”, Mediation Quarterly, vol. 13, no.1, (Fall 1995), 53, 73.