Our articles are written by experts in their field and include barristers, solicitors, judges, mediators, academics and professionals from a range of related disciplines. Family Law provides a platform for debate for all the important topics, from divorce and care proceedings to transparency and access to justice. If you would like to contribute please email editor@familylaw.co.uk.
Spotlight
A day in the life Of...
Read on

Fact-finding hearings and the implementation of Practice Direction 12J

Date:28 MAR 2013

Professor Rosemary Hunter

University of Kent

Adrienne Parnett

Barrister:

This article presents a summary of a recent report on the findings of a national online survey of judicial officers and practitioners commissioned by the Family Justice Council to monitor the operation of the President's Practice Direction 12J which applies to proceedings concerning contact and residence orders where allegations of domestic violence are made.  The research results suggest that the Practice Direction is not operating in the way it was intended to do in that the perceived relevance of domestic violence to contact and residence orders is being narrowed beyond the terms of the Practice Direction and the Guidance on Split Hearings so that allegations of domestic violence tend to be minimised or disregarded. This has resulted in the holding of fact-finding hearings being unduly restricted and findings or admissions not being given sufficient weight or followed through in orders made. The implementation of the Practice Direction is also hampered by severe resource limitations. The suggestions for improvement offered in...

Read the full article here.