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The modernisation and improvement of family justice

Date:18 JUN 2012

Roger McCarthy QC

An outline of some likely future reforms is set out. The article makes suggestions for improvements. The article recommends use of some amended parts of the Civil Procedure Rules in preference to attempts to break new ground.

The article includes suggestions on:

  • early timetabling of final hearings,
  • presumptive time estimates for different case categories,
  • regular use of telephone hearings,
  • better performance by courts and court users on the Overriding Objective ,
  • coordinated intranet timetabling,
  • elimination of expert shopping,
  • court validation of experts,
  • direct court control of experts reports,
  • questions to experts from the court
  • legal representatives to act as court agents on expert instruction,
  • standardised letters of instruction,
  • tighter court control and monitoring of use and examination of experts,
  • more involvement of parties in the court process,
  • simplification and better explanation of judgments,
  • use of ordinary language and necessary translations in the courts,
  • a plain language guide to the reforms,
  • an accessible users guide to the family justice system

To read the rest of this article, see July [2012] Family Law journal.

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