The Family Procedure Rule Committee has published details of its work between January and April 2009.
January to March 2009
The committee consulted on the draft Family Procedure Rules in November 2008.
While the draft rules were out for consultation until 27 February 2009 the committee met three times to consider proposals to amend the Family Proceedings Rules. The committee examined proposals to amend the rules relating to the process for statutory rights of appeal from decisions of a magistrates' court; and internal appeals in a county court from a decision of a district judge to a judge.
The Family Proceedings Rule Committee made the Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules 2009 [SI 2009 No.636 (L.5)] on 10 March. The rules were also able to accommodate appeals lying to a county court from decisions of a magistrates' court in accordance with the Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) Order 2009. This statutory instrument (SI) also incorporated consequential amendments arising from the Childcare Act 2006 and the Children and Young Persons Act 2008.
The committee considered proposals to amend the rules in relation to the right of media representatives to attend family proceedings heard in private (subject to judicial discretion to exclude). The committee also developed a new Part XI of the Family Proceedings Rules dealing with the communication of information relating to proceedings relating to children.
Following its consideration in February and March of proposals to amend the Family Proceedings Rules 1991 in relation to the right of media representatives to attend family proceedings heard in private (subject to judicial discretion to exclude) and in relation to communication of information regarding proceedings relating to children, the Family Proceedings Rule Committee made the Family Proceedings (Amendment) (No.2) Rules 2009 [SI 2009 No.857 (L.8)].
The committee held a two-day meeting in April to begin its consideration of responses to the consultation paper 'Family Procedure Rules - an invitation to comment on the Draft Rules, Practice Directions and Forms'.
The committee recorded its gratitude to all those who responded for their carefully considered comments. The committee will continue its consideration of responses at its meetings in May and June.