The Children & Families Bill (‘the Bill') is in its latter stages, and it is anticipated it will come into force in Spring 2014. This article focuses on the implications for those involved in private law proceedings.
The article explores the provisions of Part 2 of the Bill which amend the Children Act 1989 and whether they will have the positive effect of reducing litigation as intended. Discussion centres around whether the provisions simply re-iterate what is already being practiced and as the title suggests, therefore ‘placates by linguistics'.
Is there anything which the Bill could cover that it doesn't to reform the Family Justice System. It is suggested in the article that enforcement of contact orders (or rather lack of) is an issue which is affecting both parents and children in the court system and the Bill falls deathly silent on this issue. How can this matter be addressed and what are the perils if this is not done (references made to Re B (Care Proceedings: Appeal)  UKSC 33,  2 FLR 1075, Re L-W (Children)  EWCA Civ 1253,  1 FLR 1095 and Re A (Intractable Contact Dispute: Human Rights Violations)  EWCA Civ 1104,  2 FLR (forthcoming)).
The full version of this article appears as a Newsline Extra item in the March 2014 issue of Family Law.
Online subscribers can access the full article here.