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Guidance on funding in family courts for special measures

Date:21 FEB 2018
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Internal staff guidance from the Ministry of Justice has set out how certain court-ordered measures, including intermediaries and intermediary assessments, may be paid for in family cases. While there is no statutory requirement for HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to fund an intermediary or intermediary assessment in family proceedings, it can make certain orders and provide the funding if there is no other available source of funding.

Where it appears to the court that funding by HMCTS is the only way a party or witness can properly participate in proceedings, or be questioned in court, the judge may order that there should be:
  • an assessment to determine the nature of support that should be provided through an intermediary in the courtroom;
  • funding for that intermediary.

Intermediaries are usually appointed to support vulnerable witnesses or parties to participate in or understand proceedings inside the courtroom. HMCTS can also if necessary fund the cost of an intermediary to assist with preparation work outside the court, but only if this is directly relevant to matters to be dealt with in the court and there is a judicial order to this effect.
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