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Non-lawyer review hearings – at the heart of a successful FDAC

Date:3 MAY 2017
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His Honour Judge Patrick Peruško Luton and Bedfordshire Family and County Court
District Judge Carole Burgher Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire Family and County Court
Jo Tunnard FDAC National Unit and Independent Consultant RyanTunnardBrown

This fifth blog from the Family Drug and Alcohol Court National Unit is about the non-lawyer review hearings that are a distinctive feature of the FDAC problem-solving approach to care proceedings. We explain their role summarise the growing evidence about their value and offer reflections about practice from two well-established FDAC courts. 

The purpose and provenance of NLRs

Non-lawyer reviews (NLRs) in FDAC are held fortnightly in addition to the usual hearings in non-FDAC care proceedings. Typically an FDAC case includes at least 10 NLRs as well as the three hearings that are attended by lawyers for all the parties. No lawyers are present at NLRs because they are intended to provide an informal opportunity for parents to speak openly with the judge about how their case is going. Parents speak for themselves rather than having their views presented by their lawyer. The NLR lasts 20–30 minutes.

The parents’ key worker...

Read the full article here.