Judges respond to Government consultation papers

21 APR 2008

Last week Judges issued their responses to two consultation papers: HMCS Public Law Family Fees and; the Ministry of Justice's Forced Marriage (Civil Protection Act) 2007.

The Family Sub-Committee of the Council of Circuit Judges and the Association of Her Majesty's District Judges responded to the consultation paper on the Public Law Family Fees.

The Judges voiced their strong concerns whether there is a need for the Government's 'Full Cost Recovery' policy for Family Proceedings and, in particular, Care Proceedings. The Judges also expressed concern that Care Proceedings will not be brought by Local Authorities in a number of cases due to budgetary concerns.

On behalf of the Circuit Judges' Family Sub-Committee, the President of the Family Division said: The pressure created by social workers' heavy caseloads cause proceedings to be neglected. When budgetary considerations are added, there is unacceptable pressure to bring as few cases as possible. This is to be deplored and is dangerous to children."

The High Court Family Division and the Association of Her Majesty's District Judges also responded to the consultation paper on Forced Marriages-Relevant Third Party.

To read the consultation responses, visit the Judiciary of England and Wales website at: http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/publications_media/judicial_views_responses/index.htm#publiclawfamfee

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