In a statement published in May Family Law, Sir James Munby, together with the HMCTS Family Business Authority, gives clear and authoritative guidance on the way the Family Court, to be introduced in April 2014, will be set up.
In its first sense:
- The Family Court will deal with all family cases with the exception of two classes of case that are reserved for the Family Division (reserved work).
- The judiciary of the Family Court will include High Court Judges, Circuit Judges, Recorders, District Judges (including District Judges of the Magistrates' Court) and Magistrates. Legal advisers (justices' clerks) will also be part of the Family Court.
- The Family Proceedings Court will no longer exist. All family work currently dealt with in the county court will be dealt with in the Family Court.
- England and Wales will continue to be divided into geographical areas judicially led and managed by the Designated Family Judge.
In its second sense:
- There will be one central location - the Designated Family Centre - where the Designated Family Judge will be based and which will be the principal location at which hearings take place. There may be one or more Hearing Centres attached to the Designated Family Centre at which hearings can also take place.
- There will be a 'single point of entry', located at the Designated Family Centre, for the issue of process for the entire local single Family Court.
- There will be a centralised and unified administration, principally based at the Designated Family Centre, for the entire local single Family Court.
For the full statement see the May issue of Family Law.