The Family Justice Board (FJB) has set out a list of priorities for the family courts it intends to fulfil in response to the challenges raised by the pandemic and long-term reform needs.
In a statement issued yesterday, the FJB said increasing efficiency would be at the forefront of its efforts to improve private family law (divorce and child contact) proceedings, while urgent child protection cases in public family law would be heard in a timely manner through the courts.
The priorities have been explained fully in two documents, one for public family law matters and one for private family law matters, and have been added to the statement’s website page.
Members of the FJB include parliamentary under secretaries of state at the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Education (as co-chairs); the chief executives of Cafcass and Cafcass Cymru, and representatives for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and various other public organisations. The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, sits on the Family Justice Board as an observer, as does a representative from the Family Justice Young People’s Board.
Many thanks to LexisNexis for offering an excellent summary of the statement.
You can access the statement and the additional documents here.
I note that although in the PFL doc, in section 10 C (ii) it mentions enhancing the voice of the child throughout the whole process, it appears to simply be a token ‘nod’ to the crucial process of a judge hearing the voice of the child in a PFL case, for, nowhere else in the documents does it take up in any way any suggestions or proposed strategies for doing this, so basically the voice of the child as always will continue to be sidelined and marginalised.. and THIS is supposed to be ‘reform’ of the FC system? Well hell yeah! It’s clearly reform which optimises processes and procedures for the benefit of the judiciary and the FC system, rather than reforms to provide better, fairer and more true justice for the children at the heart of the process, along with their families