Consultation on new FPR 2010, Pt 3A—vulnerable witnesses and children

Consultation on new FPR 2010, Pt 3A—vulnerable witnesses and children

Family analysis: The Family Procedure Rules Committee (FPRC) has made recommendations arising from the final report of the Vulnerable Witnesses & Children Working Group (VWCWG). A consultation has been opened on proposed changes to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010) regarding vulnerable witnesses and children, in particular a new Pt 3A.

Original news

Family Procedure Rule Committee consultation, August 2015

The VWCWG published its final report on 17 March 2015. The report included a set of draft model rules. The VWCWG asked the FPRC to consider whether, and if so how, their recommendations and draft rules could be implemented. The FPRC has considered the draft rules and made some amendments. The FPRC now seek comments on the revised set of draft rules and a consultation has been set up.

What was the VWCWG tasked to do?

In June 2014 the VWCWG was established by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, to:

  • review judicial guidance for judges meeting children
  • consider how the voices of children and young people could be brought further to the fore in the family courts, and
  • consider and address the wider issue of children and vulnerable people giving evidence in family proceedings

The VWCWG published an interim report with initial recommendations in August 2014. The interim report was subject to extensive consultation across the family justice system. The consultation responses informed the final report of the VWCWG which was published on 17 March 2015.

What are the VWCWG's recommendations?

The VWCWG final report recommended:

  • new rules in relation to how a child can participate in family proceedings to be added to the Family Procedure Rules 2010, SI 2010/2955
  • provision for the identification of vulnerable witnesses and the arrangements that will need to be put in place, and
  • a set of draft model rules

What has the FPRC been asked to do?

The VWCWG has asked the FPRC to consider whether, and if so how, the recommendations and draft rules in the VWCWG final report can

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About the author:
Kirstie is a member of the LexisPSL family team and a solicitor specialising in all aspects of family law with particular emphasis on financial settlements, pre-nuptial agreements, private law children matters and financial disputes between cohabitants. Kirstie trained at Manches qualifying into their family department in 2003 where she worked for a number of years, particularly on financial settlement proceedings for high net worth clients. In 2006 she joined the family team at Charles Russell and progressed to become a senior associate in the department. Kirstie is a former member of the Young Resolution London Region Committee. She is also a regular contributor to Family Law Journal on wide-ranging areas of family law.