25 years of The Family Court Practice (the Red Book)

25 years of The Family Court Practice (the Red Book)

2017 marks the 25th edition of The Family Court Practice (the Red Book), with the first edition having been published in 1993, at a time when the legal landscape was very different. Senior editor Jonathan Cailes looks back on a quarter of a century of family law.

When the first edition landed on subscribers’ desks, practitioners were already becoming familiar with the Children Act 1989 but the Family Proceedings Rules 1991 were only beginning to bed in, commenced as they were on 14 October 1991.

The Family Court Practice was conceived as an essential, comprehensive and definitive work covering, in a single volume, the entire range of family proceedings at every level of court. The content and structure of the book was designed to provide step-by-step guidance to help practitioners navigate the procedural complexities of family law. All of this took place under the expert hand of the General Editor, Anthony Cleary. In many ways, nothing has changed and the ‘work is now universally accepted as a standard book of reference for judges and practitioners throughout the jurisdiction’ (The late Hon Mrs Justice Bracewell).

However, since 1998, the Civil Procedure Rules have been introduced and the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (including a raft of essential Practice Directions) replaced the Family Proceedings Rules 1991, which had a considerable impact. Yet, these changes are arguably outshone by the introduction of the single Family Court in 2014. The Int

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