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Last Thursday the President of the Family Division, Sir Mark Potter, gave the inaugural Resolution annual lecture entitled 'Does the family justice system serve the needs of children'. The lecture was initiated and organised by Resolution's accreditation committee to promote a better understanding of specialist areas of law.
In his lecture, Sir Mark addressed the implications of the Public Law Outline, due to be launched 1 April, and discussed the issues surrounding the representation of children.
Sir Mark welcomed the idea of judges talking to children after they had received appropriate training and he also spoke about the new Cafcass proposals, specifically the private law pathway.
In particular, Sir Mark referred to the 'extraordinary' Government proposal that local authorities pay up to £4000 in court fees for each care proceedings application, saying that any damper on local authorities' ability to bring proceedings has nothing to do with the interests of the child.
The closing date for the Public Law Family Fees consultation is 11 March 2008 and the President urged practitioners to respond.
To respond to the Public Law Family Fees consultation visit: http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp3207.htm.
"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with contemporary issues" Sir Mark Potter P