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New FPR Part 3A - Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence

Date:1 NOV 2017
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Senior Editor

A new Part 3A to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 has been published, which comes into force on 27 November 2017. It makes provision in relation to vulnerable persons (parties and witnesses), including protected parties, in family proceedings.

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It is the duty of the court (under FPR 2010, rr 1.1(2), 1.2 and 1.4 and Part 3A) and of all parties to the proceedings (under r 1.3) to identify any party or witness who is a vulnerable person at the earliest possible stage of any family proceedings.

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All parties and their representatives are required to work with the court and each other to ensure that each party or witness can participate in proceedings without the quality of their evidence being diminished and without being put in fear or distress by reason of their vulnerability as defined with reference to the circumstances of each person and to the nature of the proceedings.

To supplement the new Part 3A, there is also a new FPR Practice Direction 3AA, which sets out the procedure and practice to be followed to achieve a fair hearing by providing for appropriate measures to be put in place to ensure that the participation of parties and the quality of the evidence of the parties and other witnesses is not diminished by reason of their vulnerability.

Click here to view the new FPR Part 3A (Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence).

Click here to view the new FPR PD3AA (Vulnerable Persons: Participation in Proceedings and Giving Evidence).