Barrister, KCH Chambers:
In this article, Chris Bevan, considers the practical implication of the Children and Families Bill for private family lawyers. The author offers a critique on the less-well publicised aspects of the Bill and urges practitioners to remain alert to the reforms as they pass into law. The Children and Families Bill 2013, currently tracking its path through Parliament, is the principal vehicle for the Coalition Government's proposals for reform of the family justice system. The Bill contains some important conceptual as well as practical changes. Whilst much has been written both in this and other journals of the Bill's provisions as to shared care and the proposed 26-week time limit, there has been a distinct lack of attention paid to impact of other parts of the Bill as they affect Family Justice. Of particular importance in this discussion is precisely how these lesser-known parts of the Bill will touch upon the work of family solicitors and barristers. This article fills that gap by critically reviewing the central of these overlooked clauses and evaluating their importance.
The full version of this article appears in the May 2013 issue of Family Law.