The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has announced that private law orders are to be updated. The prescribed orders that were produced in conjunction with the Child Arrangements Programme have not been doing what was intended of them - namely, to make life easier - and, so, a team of district judges have revisited the issue and produced new litigant-in-person-friendly drafts.
Given that the audience for such orders can now find themselves largely unrepresented, it was important to make the drafts concise and as simple as possible. AdviceNow
assisted with suggestions on the use of accessible language.
Work has been done on reducing the prescriptive nature of the recitals which were felt to be too lengthy, and removing the requirement for certain information to be included on the face of orders. The Family Procedure Rules committee has agreed to amendments to Practice Direction 12B to accommodate this change.
The penal and warning notices required by CPR 89.1 are now displayed on the front of the order to ensure the order can be enforceable.
It is hoped that many judges and justices' legal advisers will use the Judicial Template to produce new orders. Tick box forms have been drawn up for those unable to use the Templates. To try and keep the forms manageable they are separated into three sections:
- A: Allocation and Gatekeeping;
- B: Case Management Directions and Section 8 and other Orders; and
- C: Enforcement.
Whichever method is used to produce the orders, it is hoped that parties will be able to leave court with a copy of the order made at the hearing whenever possible, and it is anticipated this will usually be achieved if the Template is used.
The drafts have been made available to circulate to encourage consistent drafting.
If judges and justices' legal advisers need help installing the current version of the Template, District Judge Bill Vincent has offered to assist, and can be contact by email at either firstname.lastname@example.org
The drafts can be found here
The President's announcement is available to download here