Rebekah Wilson, Garden Court Chambers
Perhaps it takes an unprecedented pandemic to clearly see the shape of justice for children in the UK. Long before Covid started to ravage the normality of all aspects of life the family justice system was under pressure. A 2013 Early Day Motion captured it in this way:
‘That this House is alarmed by the cuts to civil legal aid and its impact on family justice; believes that the removal of £350 million from the civil and family legal aid annual budget is having a devastating impact on family proceedings and harming the children and families involved’
The impact of LASPO and the lack of legal aid for private law children’s matters, an underfunded justice system looking for ways to cut its already impossible budget, delays in an under resourced system and calls for the Convention on the Rights of the Child to be implemented into Domestic law formed the bleak backdrop to Covid hitting family justice.
This article looks at the impact on children’s proceedings and the need to demand a properly funded family justice system for all children going forward.