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Lord Chief Justice calls for family cases to be shortened

Date:22 JUL 2010

Lord Judge CroppedLord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, has called for family and criminal cases to be shortened in order to reduce court costs and delays.

Speaking at the Lord Mayor's dinner for the judiciary last week, Lord Judge (left) said that time restraints needed to be applied in family cases.

"What I am saying is that we can no longer afford the luxury of allowing the parties in criminal and family cases, both sides of which are largely supported from public funds, to dictate the length of the case," he said.

He added: "If the end result of our national financial crisis is that all these cases take much longer to be resolved, then justice will have been damaged... the fiscal realities will be hitting the system of justice at just the time when the demands on it are increasing."

Lord Judge also questioned whether the adversarial system of advocacy was in the best interest of children in family courts.

"Does our traditional, adversarial system continue to provide the best means of enabling judges to decide those desperately sensitive cases involving the future of children? We really must consider whether these processes are the best in the year 2010."