Thoughts for a fair family court

“And clarity: perhaps I am biased; but I also believe that a much clearer and better expressed version of our law – statute and rules – could save time. Less time would be spent getting it wrong, or on appeal to the Court of Appeal to explain unclear law. And clarity would certainly promote justice.

There is no magic in any of the thoughts above. All are there in the rules already. Fairness cannot be sacrificed by family courts on the altar of pressure of time; just as health should not be sacrificed to pressure of resources. That said, realities must be faced by all of us involved in family courts process.”

dbfamilylaw

A letter from Philip Marshall QC

Philip Marshall QC, chair of FLBA, comments at http://flba.co.uk/blog/2016/10/07/flbmail-5-oct-2016/ on the recent ‘Fifteenth view’ of Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division (see eg http://flba.co.uk/downloads/ms_13993.pdf). The president’s short opening paragraph includes: ‘The fact is that we are approaching a crisis for which we are ill-prepared and where there is no clear strategy to manage the crisis.’

Philip’s comment on this diagnosis includes:

‘We must all take notice (a) because if the Family Court is unable to manage the current surge in care cases, we risk having some other system (e.g. tribunals) imposed upon us, and (b) because the very real challenges posed by this unprecedented increase in the number of new public law cases impacts upon the courts’ ability to process private law cases in a timely and appropriately specialised manner. And if the private law cases abandon the family courts in…

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