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Children Cases in the Family Court: Interim Proposals for Reform – Law Society response

Posted: 24 October 2019

The proposals

The President of the Family Division invited Mr Justice Keehan (public law) and Mr Justice Cobb (private law), to lead two cross-professional working groups to look at practices and processes for children cases in the Family Court. The Private Law Working Group undertook a review of the Children’s Arrangements Programme.

The review covered a number of areas which have an impact on private law children’s cases and made recommendations in relation to the formation of an alliance of services: mediation and non-court dispute resolution, gatekeeping and for triaging private children’s cases; Separated Parents Information Programmes; and views on the arrangements for ‘returner’ cases.

Our view

We provided feedback in relation to these recommendations and information on a proposal for a model of Family Legal Aid which we raised during the government’s post-implementation review of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.

We welcome a review of the experience of families accessing solutions for their conflicts. We are encouraged to see the review has a strong focus on what may be available to families pre-issue, as well as afterwards.

Next steps

The consultation closed on 30 September.

The results of the consultation will be considered by the Private Law Working Group and final recommendations may be published later in the year.

View the consultation on the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website.

Download the full response

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