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Alison Burt, Partner, Bindman and Partners, London. The 'Review of the Child Care Proceedings System in England and Wales', published in May 2006, is the latest initiative designed to improve the conduct of public law cases. Drafted by civil servants rather than judges, lawyers or academics, the author remarks that it has been the subject of concern and controversy since its inception. By contrast with the boldness of its terms of reference, and the stormy consultation process, the final report is a rather meek document, full of the type of language beloved of civil servants but which tends to bring lawyers out in a rash. In the midst of the talk of stretch targets, joined-up thinking and cost drivers, however, there are some proposals which if implemented would make substantial changes to s 31 of the Children Act 1989 cases. This article looks at the implications for practice of those changes: what will they mean for families and children, and the lawyers who represent them?
See August  Fam Law 659 for the full article.
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