New national standards for family court experts

New national standards for family court experts

As announced by justice minister Simon Hughes yesterday new national standards designed to raise the quality of expert witness evidence in children cases came into force on the 1 October 2014. The standards were developed in partnership with the Family Justice Council and necessitate amendments to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), PD 25B, which now annexes the new standards to it.

The standards include making sure that the expert:

  • has knowledge appropriate to the court case
  • has been active in the area of work or practice and has sufficient experience of the issues relevant to the case
  • is either regulated or accredited to a registered body where this is appropriate
  • has relevant qualifications and has received appropriate training; and
  • complies with safeguarding requirements

The consolidated amended version of PD25B can be accessed here: FPR 2010 PD 25B (October 2014), and a list of the amendments here: FPR 2010 PD 25B Amendments (October 2014).

Geraldine Morris is a solicitor and Head of LexisPSL Family.

Twitter: @GeraldineMorris

See here for practical guidance on family law reform and to arrange a free trial of LexisPSL Family.

Related Articles:
Latest Articles:
About the author:

Geraldine is Head of LexisPSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm.

Geraldine writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review. She has been published in the New Law Journal, the Law Society Gazette and the District Judges’ Bulletin as well as in the national press including the Times and the Telegraph.

When in practice she was a member of the Law Society Family and Children Panels, and an accredited Resolution Specialist with a focus on advanced financial provision and pensions. A past Resolution regional secretary and press officer, Geraldine also contributed chapters to the Resolution publications, International Aspects of Family Law (3rd Edition 2009) and The Modern Family (2012).