District Judge member of Family Procedure Rule Committee
These are momentous times for all those involved in the family justice system in England and Wales. On 6 April 2011 the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (SI 2010/2955(L17) (‘FPR') come into effect modernising procedures in all family courts. They apply common procedures to all family cases whether in the magistrates' court (MC) a county court (CC) or the High Court (HC). At last there is to be a Family Court as recommended in the Finer Report in 1974. Yes there is some qualification to the inclusion of MCs' proceedings in the FPR. The Family Procedure Rule Committee (FPRC) has no statutory power to make amend or revoke the Magistrates' Court Rules 1981 which govern some ‘family proceedings' in those courts. However the Lord Chief Justice who does will make appropriate amendments before April 2011.
Nor does the new regime in any guise affect proceedings which are not family proceedings within the meaning of s 65 of the Magistrates Courts Act 1980...
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