Delivery of the Carter review of legal aid procurement which encompasses the care proceedings review (see  Fam Law 844) has been delayed. The review, which was set up in summer 2005, was expected to report to Ministers by 31 January 2006. However, it now appears that during February and March 2006 Lord Carter will finalise the modelling of criminal schemes and continue to design and model civil and family schemes.
The main terms of reference of the care proceedings review are to: (1) investigate the possibility of early low-level judicial interventions (including early neutral interventions) to encourage parents to resolve problems themselves, thus avoiding the need for full court proceedings whenever possible and appropriate; and (2) examine whether the two stages of the court process in child protection cases (establishing the facts and determining the care plan) could be more formally separated with different attendees, procedures and levels of legal representation, and precisely where, and in what way, lawyers should be involved. For further information see www.legalaidprocurementreview.gov.uk/progress.htm. See March  Fam Law for more details.