Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
One in four family lawyers contemplates leaving the profession, Resolution reveals
A quarter of family justice professionals are on the verge of quitting the profession as the toll of lockdown on their mental health becomes clear, the family law group Resolution revealed today,...
Family Law Awards adds a Wellbeing Award - enter now
This past year has been different for everyone, but family law professionals working on the front line of family justice have faced a more challenging, stressful and demanding time than most. To...
Pension sharing orders: Finch v Baker
The Court of Appeal judgment in Finch v Baker [2021] EWCA Civ 72 was released on 28 January 2021. The judgment provides some useful guidance on not being able to get what are essentially...
Eight things you need to know: Personal Injury damages in divorce cases
The “pre-acquired” or “non-matrimonial” argument is one which has taken up much commentary in family law circles over recent years.  However, the conundrum can be even...
Misogyny as a hate crime – what it means and why it’s needed
In recent weeks, the government announced that it will instruct all police forces across the UK to start recording crimes motivated by sex or gender on an experimental basis- effectively making...
View all articles

Cafcass: The rule of three - changes to the family courts

Sep 29, 2018, 19:04 PM
In late April 2014, three simultaneous changes to the way family courts in England and Wales operate will be launched.
Slug : cafcass-the-rule-of-three-changes-to-the-family-courts
Meta Title : Cafcass: The rule of three: changes to the family courts
Meta Keywords : family law, cafcass, single family court, cap, plo, reform
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Mar 4, 2014, 09:50 AM
Article ID : 104945

In late April 2014, three simultaneous changes to the way family courts in England and Wales operate will be launched. The first is the revised Public Law Outline (PLO). While it is not much different from the version of the PLO in use since July 2013, it will define the landscape for how care applications will be dealt with for some years to come. Early use indicates that children needing safe care and stability can be placed much more quickly as a result of the revised PLO, if a suitable placement has been identified by the issues resolution hearing or a combined care and placement final hearing.

The second change is the introduction of Child Arrangements Orders and the switch from the current Private Law Programme to the Children's Arrangements Programme or CAP - not the common agricultural policy! The intention is to place more emphasis on what children need, rather than what parents want. As the cases that come to court are the hardest to resolve, it will remain a challenge to practise effective dispute resolution in a court environment where it is now the norm to be unrepresented and where often neither party has the benefit of an advocate to narrow the issues for them. However, research by Liz Trinder and others makes it clear that dispute resolution and, in some cases, a safeguarding strategy, are the most effective interventions, however intractable the parents and however long the case has been in court. As Mrs Justice Parker says, it is wrong for parents in these cases to recruit their children as child soldiers to fight on one side or the other. Parents who do this will continue to be challenged to do better by judges, magistrates, advocates and Cafcass practitioners, to support their children at a higher moral and ethical standard.

Third, the single family court should establish more effective gate-keeping and allocation of cases, so that cases are heard by the right person or bench at the right time. While this is a service behind the scenes, it is a crucial systemic change, even if some training for magistrates cannot be held until after the launch in April. Over time, I believe that these three changes will enable all of us working in the family courts to use our scarce resources to better effect, by focusing limited professional time on fewer hearings and earlier positive outcomes for children.

This post originally featured as content on the family section of The Law Society's website, you can read more here

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Load more comments
Comment by from