Following discussions with the Association of District Judges the editors of the Red Book and others the President of the Family Division has revised his Guidance which was originally issued in 2014. The Practice Guidance on the Duration of Ex Parte (Without Notice) Orders came into effect yesterday. It is essential reading for anyone who undertakes this work and who hears it.
Earlier this year figures from the Ministry of Justice confirmed that the number of non-molestation orders issued by the courts to protect people from harassment intimidation or violence had increased by 21 per cent from 4 925 to 6 101 between 2012 and 2014 in England and Wales.
This barely comes as a surprise as following the introduction of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 on 1 April 2013 the scope of services funded as part of civil legal aid radically changed. Legal aid in private law disputes has all but ceased which we know to our cost save for where there are issues concerning domestic violence or child abuse and specific evidence...
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