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Financial Remedy Courts to be piloted in 3 regions next year

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To run from February 2018

  • The President has announced that the long awaited financial remedy courts will be piloted in London, the West Midlands and South-East Wales from February next year.

    The idea of such courts was promulgated by HHJ Martin O'Dwyer, HHJ Edward Hess and Joanna Miles in an article first published in Family Law in 2016 and was backed by the President in his 17th View.

    As described in today's circular from the President the basic concept is as follows:

    • There will be a number of regional hubs, typically two per circuit (population or geography may require more), at which both the administration (HMCTS) and the judicial leadership for the relevant hub area are based.
    • A lead judge for each hub area: this must be a judge (either a CJ or perhaps a DJ) with real experience / expertise in financial remedy work.
    • Hearings will be conducted (a) at the regional hub and (he emphasises because it is very important) also (b) at a number of Financial Remedies Hearing Centres (FRHCs) within the hub area.
    • Initially the FRC will deal with ancillary relief cases; in due course, this will be extended to all financial remedy cases dealt with in the Family Court or Family Division.
    • Only 'ticketed' judges will sit in the FRC. All DJs and CJs currently in post who do this work will be 'grandfathered' in.
    • The FRC will function quite separately from the Regional Divorce Centres: initially in accordance with the current principles regulating 'administrative de-linking', pending full 'legal de-linking'.
    • Initially, the FRC will function with paper files, as at present, but HMCTS, with my support, is already working on transition by the FRC to a fully digitised model. 

    Mr Justice Mostyn will act as the national lead for the project assisted by a Deputy, HHJ Edward Hess.

    The full Circular can be read on the Hub here.


Published: 01/12/2017

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