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Pilot Scheme on Family Mediation Extended


The following is issued on behalf of the Judiciary:

The three-year Pilot Scheme on Family Mediation (the Scheme) originally scheduled to end on May 1 will be extended for three months to July 31, the Judiciary announced today (April 30).

"Funds for the provision of mediation service to divorcing couples by welfare organizations and mediators in private practice under the Scheme are sufficient to support the extension of the Scheme for another three months," a Judiciary spokesman said.

The Scheme, launched in May 2000, is to test the acceptability and effectiveness of mediation in Hong Kong in helping divorcing couples to reach their own settlement that is responsive to their own needs, and to the needs of their children and their spouse.

Under the Scheme, information and mediation sessions are provided free of charge, and participants suitable for mediation are given a choice of mediators from Social Welfare Department, non-governmental organizations and those in private practice.

"Over the past three years, of the 790 couples who have received and completed mediation, 627 pairs have reached full or partial agreement over disputes on matters, such as financial support for spouse and children, child custody and property division. The successful rate is nearly 80%," the spokesman said.

The Judiciary has commissioned the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to conduct an evaluation of the Pilot Scheme. A full report will be submitted to the Steering Committee on the Pilot Scheme on Family Mediation later this year. In light of the evaluation report, the future direction of family mediation will be considered.

End/Wednesday, April 30, 2003


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