Family Law Hub

Latest View from the President’s Chambers sets out need for change in Public and Private Children’s Law

Latest update gives details on the Public and Private Law Working Groups, a financial remedy court update, divorce service centres and the HMCTS Reform Programme.

  • Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, has set out his plans for change in both public and private children's law in his latest View from the President's Chambers.

    His vision is being addressed via the combined efforts of two working groups, led by Keehan J (public law) and Cobb J (private law). The interim reports from both of these groups will be discussed at the President's Conference on 16th May, and published for general consultation thereafter.

    However, he does stress that 'that any change in practice must come organically from across the professions and be developed in partnership rather than being imposed from above'.

    Other updates:

    Financial Remedy Court

    • Reports of the progress of the Pilot for the Financial Remedy Court at Birmingham continue to be positive.
    • The Pilot will be rolled out in a further nine areas.
    • The development of the financial remedy court should bring additional benefits, for example, by adapting the data that is captured on the D81 Form, providing a ready resource that records the basic features and outcome of every Financial Remedy case.

    Divorce Service Centres

    • These centres are being phased out during the current 12-month period and replaced by an online system based in the new national Civil and Family Service Centre at Stoke on Trent.

    Forthcoming Practice Guidance

    • Practice Guidance on Short Form Court Orders in Children Cases will be issued in early June, in response to the view that 'the benefit of long-form narrative court orders is far outweighed by the burden in terms of the time that it takes to draft them.'
    • Following the recent decision of Sir James Munby in M v P [2019] EWFC 14, Guidance on Defective Divorce Petition/Decrees is being prepared to replace the interim Guidance on this topic issued by Sir James on 23 April 2018.
    • Draft Practice Guidance on the approach to be taken where a journalist or legal blogger attends a Family Court hearing and applies for the statutory reporting restrictions to be lifted has been circulated.

    The Reform Programme

    • The HMCTS Reform Programme continues to develop and is, increasingly, producing online processes which will in time include every aspect of the work of the Family Court.

News, published: 09/05/2019


See also

Published: 09/05/2019


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