“Remedial work is now a matter of pressing urgency, unless we are complacently to condemn another generation of litigants to a procedural maze which is a discredit to family justice.”
Only mad dogs and Englishmen preside over Kafkaesque alienation still looming large for aggrieved English and Welsh citizens because access to court can’t even mean access to justice.
It is not every day that you see the President of the Family Division have to consider whether a Practice Direction is, in part, ultra vires. This is one of those days.
Re CS v ACS and Another 2015
The case hinged on the legal mechanisms for challenging a consent order.
The language of Practice Direction 30A (on appeals) is very very stark
PD30A para 14.1, headed ‘Appeals against consent orders’ provides that:
“The rules in Part 30 and the provisions of this Practice Direction apply to appeals relating to orders made by consent in addition to orders which are not made by consent. An appeal is the only way in which a consent order can be challenged” (emphasis added).
So, the only route is by appeal.
section 31F(3) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 (as inserted by the Crimes and Courts Act 2013) provides…
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