Family Justice Reformed
contains detailed commentary on the Single Family Court and the Children and Families Act 2014, Pts 1 and 2 (which deal with family justice), including clear and comprehensive guidance on the underlying procedural regime and the rationale for the reforms.
The reforms continue to represent a huge change to the manner in which professionals working in the family justice system have to approach and deal with cases, and this comprehensive practitioner’s text provides an invaluable guide thereto.
This new edition has been thoroughly revised throughout and contains analysis and practical guidance on all recent developments, including additional chapters on
‘The challenges in cases involving young adults’ and ‘Digital Court modernisation’. An Appendix contains relevant legislative provisions and guidance.
The book also provides clear practice guides, summaries and glossaries of legal terms, with a view to assisting litigants in person who are negotiating their own way through the system.
“ … a large and important book that should be on the shelf of every family lawyer.”
From the Foreword to the first edition by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division.
In my preface to the first edition of this important work I ventured a personal opinion about the importance of education, academic collaboration and the use of empirically validated research in family justice: in other words, an appreciation of ‘what works’. I am delighted that over the last 3 years we have witnessed huge strides in our understanding of and support for these elements of a healthy justice system. There is now a greater investment in family justice research, development and education than at any time in my professional life. The benefits of that collaboration are beginning to be seen in the quality of the evidence and submissions we hear in cases, the commentary of professionals in the specialist media and in the leadership that is provided by our judges and professional colleagues. These important advances are reflected in the content of this work. The authors provide a commentary of quality on what we do and they deserve our thanks and grateful attention to the detail of what they have written.
Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder, Senior President
From the first edition" am indebted to Sarah Blackmore and Jacqui Thomas for undertaking a task that is integral to the change programme that was envisaged when the recommendations of both the Family Justice Review and the judiciary were accepted. They are right to describe me as an ambassador for change. I am not the originator of change, merely, for a short time, its guardian. Real change is generated out of the good practice of the professionals who work on the ground in the many and difficult cases that come before the family court. It cannot be imposed by others although it can be influenced and led by the judgments of the senior courts, quality leadership and a structure which promotes research based good practice, empirical monitoring of outcomes and the management of priorities and cases within the family justice system. This invaluable book is central to an essential component of change which is education, the dissemination of good practice and the fostering of a co-operative and positive environment in which new and better ideas are allowed to develop.
I hope that the family court that we have created and the leadership and case management principles that have been developed will flourish to the advantage of the children whose futures are influenced by us. Lest it be thought that change places organisational management ahead of the interests of the child, let me be the first to say that in a family justice system the principles of proportionality and good change management must be viewed through the telescope of quality. We must never sacrifice the quality of what we do on the altar of price rationing or cost effectiveness. The quality of the judicial intervention in a child's life should be the object of scrutiny by professionals and public commentators alike. We must continually strive to improve both the quality of evidence and decision-making and this book will help all of us adapt our practices so as to achieve that aim.
I am very grateful to the authors for their careful and detailed consideration of some very important issues."
Sir Ernest Ryder
Sarah Blackmore and Jacqui Thomas have produced the second edition for which we hoped. There has been much continuing reform since they first wrote this invaluable book, which means they have had to weave in much new material. The history of reform is brought up-to-date and much new case-law is included.
The second edition is a worthy successor to the First. Again, our authors deserve our thanks and our congratulations.
Sir James Munby
From the first editionSarah Blackmore and Jacqui Thomas have given us a large and important book that should be on the shelf of every family lawyer.
Reforming Family Justice charts the whole process of the reforms from the work of the Family Justice Review through all the subsequent planning, introduction and implementation, whilst at the same time providing an exemplary analysis of the new law and its subsequent judicial interpretation. This is both an acute work of contemporary legal history, which will be of enduring value, and an accurate guide to the law as it stands. Our authors weave together a wide range of materials to produce a compelling account which puts the new law in its wider historical, social and political context, at the same time as it provides a sure guide for the busy practitioner. They deserve our thanks and our congratulations.
No doubt the continuing processes of reform and the seemingly endless stream of judicial decisions will demand an early second edition. In the meantime, let us take full advantage of the first.
Sir James Munby
President of the Family Division
With a specialist contribution by Taryn Lee QC, 37 Park Square Chambers, Leeds
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