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Family Justice Review

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The Panel for the Family Justice Review, appointed by the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education and the Welsh Assembly Government has asked for a ‘Call for Evidence’. This is to enable anyone with an interest in the family justice system to put forward their views on how to improve the current system.

Head of our Family Team, Julie-Ann Harris, explains “This is part of a fundamental review of the system announced by the Government in the coalition agreement and aims to improve the current system so that it is simpler, more cost-effective and fairer, whilst still continuing to protect children and vulnerable adults. The family justice system is under strain with rising numbers of cases and extended case durations. It is hoped to improve the use of mediation using alternatives to the legal process and to provide better contact rights and access for grandparents and non-resident parents.”

The ‘Call for Evidence’ is asking for views on key areas of the family justice system – including how to make it more user friendly and child focused, and improved methods of resolving family disputes.Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly, said that since the Children Act of 1989 there has been reform in the areas of child welfare and wellbeing but there has been no fundamental review of the family justice system. He said that “now more than ever we need a family justice system that supports people in need as efficiently as possible, and this what the Panel’s work will help us achieve”.

The Panel’s report will be published in the autumn and in the meantime there will be a number of open discussion events.