As the sun heats up and Westminster winds down, this week is a good opportunity to start on the article section of the Fultemian Project. A project within a project, the essence behind it is to offer some possible solutions to the current problems plaguing the family justice system. It’s no mean feat and as a relative newbie, Researching Reform’s observations may well be foetal but it’s a big field and with a lot of ground to cover time is of the essence, so we’re going to give it a go.

Ironically, it seems to make sense to start backwards in order to approach the problems at their source. After nearly four fabulous years working with families, parliament, charities and professionals, it has become clear that no amount of extra cash or restructuring is going to give the system the significant boost it needs in the initial stages. These solutions or injections of life are useless if the organism is not responsive and right now, the system is listless. It is losing the will to go on and the impact of that can be seen in the way the system is reacting to the increasing pressures. Yes, there are the odd surges of fighting spirit, from Sound Off For Justice to Justice for All, not to mention our increasingly political judiciary, but these are not enough and will in the end go unheeded as the government plays its strongest calling card: the imperative drive to curb costs in a critical economy.

Yet there are things the system can do, with the man power it already has and which we believe at Researching Reform would make a huge difference in a relatively small space of time. Perception is not just an artificial construct that always alters the truth; it can be a mirror too and perhaps the greatest ally in reforming the family justice system is the public, as they continue to espouse a strong sense of idealism about how the family courts should work. This first article then, is about aligning our current system with these strong ideals and shifting the sociocultural stigmas out of the field using a little creativity and maybe a pinch of passion. We hope you find the following article of interest and as always, your comments and thoughts are very welcome. These articles are designed to be interactive; they are live organisms that welcome being evolved by everyone. They are also designed to be controversial; that is to say, they deign to express the truth, as far as is humanly possible.

Article One: Through the Looking Glass