A two day International Research Conference at Northumbria University has been scheduled in October to look at ways in which family professionals can ensure parents and children in need of support are able to access justice.

The conference, which runs from 8th-9th October this year, will encourage people to share their experiences of working in the Family Court following the implementation of the Public Law Outline in 2008, and the modernization of the family justice system which has led to many changes within the family courts.

Topics for discussion will include the rise of Litigants in Person, and McKenzie Friends who assist families unable to pay for solicitors and barristers; helping families access legal advice; how families and children feel about the way the Family Court works, and ways in which the system can be improved.

The main themes for the conference are:

  • Advocacy and Capacity: the rhetoric and reality of representation for parents and children
  • Relationship-based approaches to working with families
  • Research in Family Justice: possibilities and constraints
  • Innovation and Empowering Interventions
  • Comparative Approaches to Family Justice: commonalities and differences from International Jurisdictions

Keynote speakers currently confirmed include:

  • Rt. Hon. Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice
  • Professor Brid Featherstone, Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield
  • Professor Judith Masson, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol
  • Nicholas Stonor QC, Trinity Chambers Newcastle
  • Professor Kathryn Abel, Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Manchester
  • Professor Karen Broadhurst, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University

The conference is not free and is designed in the main for people working inside the family justice system, but if you would like to attend and perhaps ask if you can come along at a discounted price, or for free if the conference organisers will consider it, you can get in touch at nu.events@northumbria.ac.uk

Many thanks to Abby Wiffen for sharing the conference details and kindly inviting us to attend.

Conference NU