Free mediation services are being expanded to help people involved in civil disputes reach a resolution to save the cost and stress of a court process.
The Scottish Government is providing £251,587 to fund the free services in 2023/24 for parties involving disputes of up to £5,000.
The disputes can range from goods and services, building work, unpaid work and employment.
There are already 22 mediation hubs in 22 sheriff court areas, 18 delivered by Strathclyde University’s mediation clinic and four by Edinburgh’s Citizens Advice Bureau mediation services.
The expansion will see Strathclyde offer a further 17 hubs across the county.
Of the Government funding, £93,374 will be invested into the Strathclyde scheme, while there will be £58,213 for the Edinburgh service.
Victims and community safety minister Siobhian Brown said: “Civil disputes, especially when they end up in court, can be costly and time-consuming for those involved and can affect individuals, communities and organisations.
“Mediation within the civil justice system offers the opportunity for a more flexible and affordable way to resolve those disputes.
“The expansion of the availability of mediation services will widen access to justice for citizens and businesses consistently across the whole of Scotland.”
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