District Judge Harold Godwin
President, Association of Her Majesty's District Judges, who sits at Haverfordwest and Aberystwyth County Courts:
The modernisation of the family justice system is now well underway with the enabling legislation in the form of the Crime and Courts Bill. The centre piece of the reform programme is the creation of the Single Family Court and by 2014 it will be a reality. The new court will perform most of the functions presently undertaken in the High Court, county courts and family proceedings courts throughout England and Wales. Mr Justice Ryder, the judge in charge of the modernisation programme, has said that the aim is to have a new court with a new structure where the work of the court will be directly managed by the judiciary and where all levels of the judge and magistrate will be members of the same court, that is, they will sit as 'Judges of the Family Court'.
The full version of this article appears in the April 2013 issue of Family Law.