Martin Partington: Spotlight on the Justice System

Keeping the English Legal System under review

Fundamental review of family justice

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The Government has announced a fundamental review of the family justice system. It is to have the following guiding principles:

  1. The interests of the child should be paramount
  2. The court’s role should be focused on protecting the vulnerable from abuse, victimisation and exploitation
  3. Individuals should have the right information and support to enable them to take responsibility for the consequences of relationship breakdown
  4. Mediation and similar support should be used as far as possible
  5. Processes should be easy to understand, simple and efficient
  6. Conflict between individuals should be minimised as far as possible

Against this background, the review will examine:

  1. The extent to which the adversarial nature of the court system is able to promote solutions
  2. The options for introducing more inquisitorial elements into the family justice system
  3. Whether there are areas of family work which could be dealt with more simply and effectively administrative, rather than court-based process
  4. The roles fulfilled by all of the different agencies and professionals in the family justice system

What is omitted from this preliminary list is the question whether there should be a separately identifiable family court to replace the current mix of magistrates’ courts, county courts and high court. It is expected that the outcome of the review will be published in about 18 months time.

For further details about the review, including details of the membership of the panel are at http://www.justice.gov.uk/news/newsrelease160210a.htm

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Written by lwtmp

February 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Posted in chapter 7

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