Some themes arising from the last edition of Family Court Review

John Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


In the last edition of the FRC, there are a number of articles which highlight ever-present themes in the many dispute resolution industries. These themes are: The cyclical nature of family law and DR reform to and fro “faster, cheaper, less formal and more accessible”; Access barriers for the poor and middle class; Access barriers due to geography, distance, and cultural differences; Blossoming of a range of “abbreviated” (short and inexpensive) DR services; The essential, yet neglected, task of systematic diagnosis of possible causes of conflict, and of a possible range of helpful interventions: DR practitioners should aim to “at least do no harm”; If a DR practitioner exhibits care, and core communication skills, how much do different processes matter? The Hawthorne effect—all pilot projects tend to succeed?; There is a constant flow of stories, systematic and statistical knowledge in DR industries. Who is listening and translating this flow of information between the various DR silos and to the public? Key Points for the Family Court Community: The repetitive and predictable cycles of family law reform. Access to DR services restricted by finances, geography and cultural differences. The old saying “at least do no harm” should find a prominent place in all family DR services and training. The Hawthorne effect—all pilot and new projects seem to “succeed” for awhile. What follows? In the many family DR silos, there are “truths” embodied in stories, systems and statistics. Who can translate helpfully from one silo to another?.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-525
Number of pages9
JournalFamily Court Review: an interdisciplinary journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015


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