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Alistair MacDonald, Barrister, St Philips Chambers, Birmingham, Joint Chair, Association of Lawyers for Children. In the January issue of Family Law ( Fam Law 3) the Association of Lawyers for Children (ALC) urged the government to begin addressing the operational problems with the Children Act 1989, using properly resourced and evidence-based practical solutions. At a time when Ministers are considering the recommendations of the Department for Constitutional Affairs public law review, this article endeavours to examine how this may be achieved.
The ideas and proposals set out in the article represent the input of a wide variety of individuals and agencies to the ongoing debate on this issue. In particular, they have been drawn from the research cited in this article, the conclusions of the joint ALC/Resolution study weekend held in October 2005 in association with the National Association of Guardians Ad Litem and Reporting Officers and the keynote speech made by Sir Mark Potter, President of the Family Division, to the ALC Annual Conference held in Southampton in November 2005. See March  Fam Law 190 for the full article.
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This work provides commentary, checklists, procedural guides and precedents on the subject in a...