The process of reform: next steps (condensed)

The process of reform: next steps (condensed)

I don’t know about you, but I’m finding the reforms to the family justice system to be less of a programme and more of an avalanche…So, just in case you don’t have time (I expect practitioners are rather busy with cases…) to read all 11 pages of the President’s latest missive (his 12th View) here are six important areas to note:

  • Following the implementation of the Child Arrangements Programme (CAP), the Private Law Working Group (PLWG) has been drafting guides and other materials to assist litigants in person and the judges involved in private law cases, including:

- a guide to urgent and without notice hearings (published by HMCTS as ‘CB8’)

- a revised guide for the judiciary on mediation (prepared by the  Family Mediation Council and endorsed by the Family Justice Council, facilitated by PLWG)

- a guide for judges dealing with private law cases involving issues of capacity (drafted by PLWG and soon to be published by the Family Justice Council); and

- witness statement templates for use by litigants in person (to be issued by HMCTS)

  • the President has invited Mostyn J and Cobb J to chair a new Financial Remedies Working Group (with an interim report by 31 July 2014) to explore ways of improving accessibility for litigants in person, and to identify ways of further improving good practice in financial remedy cases – the objective is to produce something analogous to CAP: the Money Arrangements Programme (MAP) – key areas of consideration are:

- to adapt processes in financial remedy cases for litigants in

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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).