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14th View from the President’s Chambers: Care cases: Settlement conferences and the ‘tandem’ model

Date:15 AUG 2016
Third slide
Formerly President of the Family Division
The number of new care cases continues to rise seemingly relentlessly. Cafcass figures show that in the 12 months to March 2016 there were 12 781 new cases an increase from 11 159 in the previous year (an increase of 14%). In the 4 months from April to July this year there were 4 959 new cases compared to 4 118 in the corresponding period in 2015 (an increase of 20%). The reasons for the increase are little understood and are currently being investigated. We must however plan on the basis that there will continue to be significant increases.

That is one reality. The other reality is that we are unlikely to see any increase in resources judicial or otherwise.

Given the realities we must continue to look for new innovative and better ways of handling these cases while never departing from the fundamentals namely that:
  • Care cases with their potential for life-long separation between children and their parents are of unique gravity and importance.
  • It is for the local authority to establish its case.
  • Common-law principles of fairness and justice demand as do Arts...

Read the full article here.