The Triennial Reviews of the Civil
Justice Council (CJC) and Family Justice Council (FJC) were announced in a
Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament on 4 November 2013. The first Triennial
Review Report was published yesterday, 14 July 2015.
The CJC is an Advisory Public Body
which was established under the Civil Procedure Act 1997 with responsibility
for overseeing and co-ordinating the modernisation of the Civil Justice System
The FJC’s main role is to promote an
inter-disciplinary approach to family justice and to monitor how effectively
the system, both as a whole and through its component parts, delivers the
service the Government and the public need. It also advises on reforms
necessary for continuous improvement of the family justice system.
The Triennial Review process was
established in 2011 to ensure that all NDPBs which remained in place following
these reforms were regularly reviewed. As sponsoring body of both the CJC and
FJC, the review was undertaken by the Judicial Office for England and Wales.
The Cabinet Office has identified two
principal aims for Triennial Reviews:
to provide robust challenge to the continuing need for
individual NDPBs – both their functions and their form (stage one); and
where it is agreed that a particular body should remain as
an NDPB, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure
that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate
governance (stage two).
Following an evidence gathering
exercise which commenced on 4 November 2013, Stage One of the Reviews for CJC
and FJC has concluded that:
There is a continuing need for the functions of the CJC
Neither the CJC or the FJC should be abolished or merged
into another organisation but should continue as an Arm’s Length Body,
independent of Government
Both the CJC and the FJC meet the three tests set by the
Both Reviews should move forward to Stage Two and consider the
governance of the Councils.