A new family court in East London was today opened by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, and minister Simon Hughes.
East London Family Court, located in Canary Wharf, is a 12 courtroom centre that will deal with family work, including divorce, child contact, adoption and local authority child protection cases. It has been specially designed and equipped to support video-linked hearings in four of the courts for the benefit of vulnerable witnesses.
The opening completes the establishment of three family court centres in London, in line with the principles of the new single Family Court in England and Wales. The new structure is designed to be more efficient and flexible, simpler for court users to understand and will promote increased judicial continuity in managing cases.
Sir James Munby said:
The opening of the East London Family Court marks another vital step in the changes to the way family cases are dealt with in London. It will improve access to family justice for Londoners. I congratulate all who have worked so hard to bring it to fruition.
Family justice minister Simon Hughes said:
East London Family Court will help transform the way court cases involving children are dealt with in London. The new streamlined system will make sure cases can be dealt with as quickly as possible and vulnerable children are better protected. The opening of this court is yet another part of the process to create a family justice system with children and young people firmly at its heart.
East London Family Court will take public law work from Tower Hamlets, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Sutton, Croydon, Bromley and Bexley, and private law work from those Boroughs as well as Greenwich and Lewisham.