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Family Procedure Rule Committee annual report 2008

Date:16 JUL 2009

The Family Procedure Rule Committee has published its annual report for 2008.

The report includes references to rules made during the period of the report, the Committee's terms of reference, membership and dates of meetings.

Following the production of a first draft of the new Family Procedure Rules ("the Master Document") referred to in the Committee's 2007 Annual Report, the Master Document and members' comments upon it were subjected to close scrutiny by the Committee in 2008.

It is intended that the new rules will improve the current procedural system significantly with procedures that will be easier to use and understand for courts, practitioners and those individuals who find themselves involved in family proceedings. Additionally, there shall for the first time be a single unified code for family proceedings in the magistrates' courts, county courts and the High Court.

In 2008 the Committee made minor amendments to rules 55 (How a person becomes a litigation friend by court order) and 95 (Power of the court to proceed in the absence of a party) contained in the Family Procedure (Adoption) (Amendment) Rules 2008 (SI 2008 No. 2447 (L.12)).

During the year the Committee has considered and made amendments to the Family Proceedings Rules to set out a procedural code for applications under Part 4A (Forced Marriage) of the Family Law Act 1996 and consequential amendments arising from the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. These are contained in the Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules 2008 [2008 SI 2446 (L.11)].

The Committee also made rules to support the implementation of sections 1-5 and 8 of the Children and Adoption Act 2006 and introduced a new prescribed form for applications under s.8 of the Children Act 1989. These are contained in the Family Proceedings (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2008 [SI 2008 No.2861 (L.25)].

To read the Family Procedure Rule Committee annual report 2008, click here.