Welcome to another week. A World War free week. For now.
As calls for transparency within the Family Courts continue, a growing number of questions raised by MPs in the House of Commons ask about the data available on these courts.
More often than not, the Ministry of Justice and other relevant departments are unable to provide this information, either due to what’s claimed to be a disproportionate cost in having to collect these stats, or simply because the data is not stored in the first place.
Much of the data not stored or efficiently recorded could be considered essential information.
A recent example of a written request asked for details about stalking and harassment orders issued from 2014-2015. Whilst data on the number of orders was available, the Minister responding confirmed that details about specific restrictions included in a restraining order was not held centrally and could only be obtained at an unreasonable cost.
The minister went on to say that there were also no stats on how frequently perpetrators of stalking and harassment try to contact their victims through action in the civil or family courts.
Freedom of Information requests made by the public and campaigners asking for data on orders, policy implementation and the impact of legislation often come back with little or no information.
However, the government does publish reports and bulletins which include data about things like legal aid, litigants in person and the numbers of certain types of orders issued.
Our question, is this: what kind of Family Court focused data would you like the government to produce, or do we have enough stats for the time being?