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The Family Procedure Rule Committee is holding an open meeting on 3 April 2006 in London. The committee is a non-departmental public body set up under the Courts Act 2003 to make rules of court for use in family proceedings. Under the 2003 Act, the committee will be the single rule making body for the new Family Procedure Rules replacing the separate rule making bodies that currently exist for family proceedings in the different levels of court. The committees first Rules were the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules 2005, which came into force on 30 December 2005. At the meeting guests (already invited) will be observers only and not able to participate in the committees business or contribute to items in the agenda. At the end of the meeting guests will be able to put questions (already submitted) to the committee. The committee will be looking at aspects of the ongoing programme to introduce a new harmonised and modernised set of Family Procedure Rules, its strategy for which includes the creation of working parties to examine rules relating to:
(i) experts in family proceedings;
(ii) financial proceedings; and
(iii) childrens proceedings, in addition to the existing rule harmonisation working party which will examine the harmonisation of family rules generally with the Civil Procedure Rules.
The committee has published its Annual Report for 2004-2005 which can be viewed on www.dca.gov.uk/procedurerules/familypr_committee.htm. A full report of the open meeting will be published in the May issue of Family Law.