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THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF HONG KONG - page 345 / 360

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Community mediation

15.121We recommend that community based family mediation services should be available to the public and that there be more publicity and education to encourage early referral to such services. (Paragraph 12.120)

Approving community mediation

15.122We recommend legislative provisions similar to the provisions in the Australian Family Law Reform Act 1995 which provided a mechanism for community based counselling and mediation organisations to become approved organisations.  We recommend that a similar scheme be established in Hong Kong with funding provided by government to approved organisations.  The government would work in partnership with such organisations as regards the quality of the service, continuing supervision and training of the mediators and other relevant matters. (Paragraph 12.122)

Child’s voice in the mediation process

15.123We recommend the adoption of a provision on the lines of an amended section 11(7) of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 to provide a mechanism for considering the children’s views in the mediation process.1390  We also recommend that consideration be given to what mechanisms are needed to determine the child’s views so that these can be brought to the mediator’s attention. (Paragraph 12.126)

Legal aid and mediation

15.124We recommend that there should be statutory provision for legal aid to be made available for mediation of guardianship, custody and access disputes.  We further recommend that, once that legislation is enacted, the Legal Aid Department should establish a proper scheme for the funding of family mediation which will include education, publicity and screening of potential cases. (Paragraph 12.128)

Privilege and confidentiality

15.125For the removal of any doubt, particularly if a court annexed mediation scheme is established, we recommend a statutory provision giving privilege to all qualified family mediators, similar to that provided in the Civil Evidence (Family Mediation) (Scotland) Act 1995. (Paragraph 12.134)

Immunity from liability

1390 See Annex 1 infra.

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