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.

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