- Interview with Sir James Munby, Family Division President
- In a recent speech to the Family Justice Young People’s Board, you said you had ‘failed’ to achieve reforms to stop alleged abusers cross-examining their alleged victims in fact finding hearings and to enable children to have greater access to the courts. What stopped the reforms, and what other areas would you like to have progressed if you had more time as President?
- Following on from the Supreme Court decision in Owens v Owens, do you want to see divorce reform bring in a faster track to no-fault divorce?
- What are your views on the court modernisation programme and digitalisation, and how concerned are you about court closures impacting on access to justice?
- You have consistently championed greater transparency in the family courts. Have you achieved as much as you hoped?
- How concerned are you about the stress those working in the family courts face daily?
- What are your concerns about legal aid being largely withdrawn from private family law disputes?
- You have been very forthright about social injustice, for instance in the case last year when you said the nation would have ‘blood on its hands’ if an NHS hospital bed couldn’t be found within days for a teenage girl who was at acute risk of taking her own life. Would you urge other judges to speak out?
- Looking ahead, what will be the main challenges facing the family justice system?
- What do you hope will be your legacy as President?
Family analysis: In his final press conference at the Royal Courts of Justice before his retirement after five years as President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby was outspoken to the last. Here, he summaries his views including on delays to essential reforms, the rights of victims of domestic abuse, divorce law reform and why judges should speak out on social injustices.
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