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Justice for Children: Welfare or Farewell?

Date:5 FEB 2010

The Rt Hon Lord Justice Wall

This article is based on the keynote address to the Annual Conference of the Association of Lawyers for Children, Manchester, 19 November 2009

I am very conscious of my audience. You are not only specialists, but you are working at the sharp, and uncomfortable end of your specialism. Much of what I have to say will not, alas, be new, or even original. Much will be, to you at least, statements of the obvious. That I believe they need to be said indicates the parlous state of family law in 2009. I am, however, going to discuss only three main topics under the title of the conference. They are: (1) the need to preserve the positives (I am going to concentrate on s 41) under the Children Act 1989 (the 1989 Act) and the Family and the Family Proceedings Rules (to be replaced (I hope in 2010) by the re-written Family Procedure Rules; (2) what has become known as 'transparency'; and (3) the recent decision of the President in Re Child X (Residence and Contact: Rights of Media Attendance: FPR Rule 10.28 (4)) [2009] EWHC 1718 (Fam), [2009] 2 FLR 1467 handed down on 15 July 2009.

To read the rest of this article, see January [2010] Family Law journal.

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