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Family Justice Council report on domestic abuse and special measures in remote and hybrid hearings

Date:17 NOV 2020
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The Family Justice Council has published guidance titled ‘Safety from Domestic Abuse and Special Measures in Remote and Hybrid Hearings’. The guidance recommends that, in any proceedings where domestic abuse is an issue, careful consideration must be given to whether special measures are required and how hybrid/remote hearings should be facilitated to safeguard vulnerable parties. It suggests proactive advance planning of hearings, consideration of risks involved and practical support to promote physical and emotional safety of all participants and provides a checklist of those considerations.
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The guidance supplements the protocols for remote and hybrid hearings in ‘The Remote Access Family Court’ guidance, and applies to everyone involved in family proceedings where domestic abuse has been proven or may be an issue including court staff, the judiciary, lawyers and domestic abuse organisations. It acknowledges that there may be ‘practical difficulties which may create obstacles to the implementation of all the guidance available’ but emphasises ‘the risks of harm to victims of domestic abuse if perpetrators are able to use the hearing as an opportunity for further abuse’.

You can read the guidance here.