Framework for a Family Court
10 APR 2007
In an address to the Area Judicial Forum (AJF) conference on 23 March 2007 Sir Mark Potter, President of the Family Division, gave an outline of what is, and will be, happening to increase the work of the family proceedings courts (FPCs). A new Framework for a Family Court, approved by the Lord Chief Justice and the Lord Chancellor would, by April 2008, be rolled out and piloted to cover the following areas.
- The practical arrangements for judicial management of a unified family court - comprising judges of the High Court, circuit and district judges and magistrates of the FPCs.
- Allocation criteria for the categorisation and distribution of family proceedings as between those groups of judges. A draft had already been circulated.
- Gatekeeper and listing guidance covering the issue and allocation of proceedings, and the administrative support necessary in that respect.
- A public law case management practice direction (ie a revised and simplified Protocol) applicable to all levels of court.
- A private law case management practice direction (ie the revised Private Law Programme).
- New Family Procedure Rules (as devised by the Family Procedure Rule Committee) codified along the lines of the CPR and accommodating the new arrangements.
For a full summary of the address see May  Fam Law.