Family Law Hub

New rules on experts from 31 January 2013

  • Changes to the way experts are appointed and managed under the Family Procedure Rules will come into force on 31 January 2013. The revisions follow on from recommendations in the Family Justice Review and will apply to both existing and new proceedings from that date. The major changes are  

    • a new 'necessary' test when seeking permission to bring expert evidence before the court. The current test is whether expert evidence is 'reasonably required'. In children proceedings, this new test will also applies to permission for a child to be examined or assessed for the purpose of the provision of expert evidence
    • a new set of factors which the court will have to consider when deciding whether to grant permission including the impact on the timetable, conduct and cost of the proceedings 
    • that applications for permission to instruct an expert in children proceedings will have to state the questions the expert is required to answer

    Controlling the use of expert evidence will become part of the active case management guidance set out in rule 1.4. That Rule will also be amended pushing timetabling and controlling case progress to the top of the list.  

    Practice Directions 25A to F will replace the current single PD while a new PD 15B will deal with protected parties. The FPR section of the MoJ website will be updated with the revisions when they come into force.

    These changes are introduced by the Family Procedure (Amendment) (No.5) Rules 2012.

News, published: 17/12/2012

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Published: 17/12/2012

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