Appeals in family proceedings: the rules diverge

“For appeals which are in the family courts under FPR 2010 Pt 30, the judge is likely to expect that, in accordance with the general rule in family proceedings, most hearings will be in private (r 27.10). However, the new r 30.12A allows the appellate court to order that part or all of ‘the hearing of the appeal to be in public’ (r 30.12(2)(a) and (b)). The same rule enables the judge to exclude ‘any person or class of persons from attending a public hearing’ (r 30.12A(2)(c)).

No more is said by the new rule as to how the new open court powers are to operate. For example what factors should the judge take into consideration when deciding whether to open the court to the public?”

dbfamilylaw

20170407_185106Work out which court: spot the differences in procedure…

Rule-makers often make things needlessly difficult for parties to family proceedings. An example, for which there should have been no need if the rule-makers took a little care (and co-operated with one another) is for those involved appeals from family courts decisions. First, would be appellants in family cases, have the worry of working out which court they must appeal to – High Court family judge or Court of Appeal. Secondly, they must be clear which set of rules – Civil Procedure Rules 1998 (CPR 1998) Part 52 or Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) Part 30 – applies to their appeal. (The first dictates the second.) For parties who are doing their own legal work – that is, litigants in person, who account for up to 40% of appeal cases, it is said – just to start an appeal under…

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