Family Law Hub

Latest view from the President's Chambers focus on the pressures of work in the Family Court faced by

Latest update looks at pressures on the family court, expert witness working group, mini-pupillage scheme for medical experts, police disclosure, children accommodated in unregulated placements that have approved by the court and the transparency review.

  • Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, has expressed his concern for Family Courts which are currently working well over their capacity, as backed up by HMCTS data which shows that nationally the average length of public law cases rose from 30.1 weeks to 32.5 weeks over the past 12 months, with the percentage achieving completion within 26 weeks falling from 50.1% this time last year to a current figure of 43%


    Other updates:

    Expert Witness Working Group

    • In November 2019 the Expert Witness Working Group that was established at my requestunder the chairmanship of Williams J issued a comprehensive report invitingconsultation on the 22 key recommendations that have been made by this wide-ranginggroup2. The consultation period runs to 31 January 2020.
    Mini-pupillage scheme for medical experts 

    • In the new year, the Family Justice Council will be relaunching this scheme to encourage doctors to become expert witnesses. 
    Police Disclosure

    • Obtaining timely and effective disclosure of material held by the police for use in Family cases continues to be a major problem across the country.
    Children accommodated in unregulated placements that have approved by the court 

    • On 13th November 2019, guidance was published on applications being made by local authorities for the placement of a young person in accommodation which is not at that time registered as a children’s home with OFSTED.
    Transparency Review

    • A small panel has now been gathered together to assist in undertaking a review on transparency in the Family Court

News, published: 20/12/2019

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Published: 20/12/2019

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