A new report from the Ministry of Justice shines a light on how experts are utilised in the family court, and the contributions they make to cases upon appointment and consultation.
Published yesterday (17 December 2015), the report – based on a study made up of two ‘phases’ – presents a combination of data collected from various members of the judiciary, an online survey and groups of professionals involved in family law proceedings (including experts), as well as source material gathered from closed family law cases, to form a comprehensive idea of exactly how experts are used within family court cases and the manner in which their involvement within a case aids the making of a just and timely decision overall.
Changes to how experts are used in family law were first suggested in the Family Procedure Rules 2013, and later cemented in legislative form within the Children and Families Act 2014. The study examines closely how these changes have been enforced since their enactment, and the processes now undertaken from the initial appointment of an expert to the final decision made following their contribution to a case.
The full report is available to view and download here