The sound rationale behind the new family dispute arbitration scheme doesn't mean it is a credible alternative to either mediation or litigation, says Miles Geffin

The new family arbitration scheme announced last week vouches to bring the advantages of arbitration – quicker, cheaper and more discrete than court-based litigation – to divorce proceedings. Much as this is a positive development in an area prone to protracted, emotional litigation, serious obstacles stand in its way.

The scheme, which some lawyers have already said could “revolutionise” the settlement of family disputes (see Solicitors Journal 156/8, 28 February 2012, ‘Arbitration could “revolutionise” family disputes’), was set up by the Institute of Family Law Arbitrators, a new not-for-profit organisation created by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb) with the backing of Resolution, the former Solicitors Family Law ...

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