Family Law has been granted an exclusive preview of the new Family Court seal that will be used in all family proceedings begun on or after 22 April 2014.
The final design has been eagerly anticipated throughout the legal system. A team of specialist graphic artists were paid an undisclosed sum to produce an official seal that 'conveys the authority of the newly formed single Family Court, while making the justice system friendlier and less intimidating for children'.
As is currently the case, the new seal will be employed to indicate judicial approval on all orders issued by the Court prior to despatch. However, as of 22 April 2014, the single Family Court seal will replace the individual geographically based Family Proceedings Court and County Court seals.
The Justice Department has also instructed designers to produce an electronic seal, which would allow orders to be despatched more efficiently, but the team has so far struggled to finalise the project. It is as yet unclear whether the delay has been caused by budgetary constraints, technical difficulties or the need to avoid the risk of fraud.
The judiciary is reported to be extremely happy with the new seal and and the head of the team that commissioned the design told Family Law:
'The brief that we set the design team was exceptionally tough, but we are all agreed that the result speaks for itself. The new Family Court seal is something of which we can all be proud. It embodies gravitas and fairness, while promoting accessibility for both children and litigants in person alike. We welcome feedback from all quarters, but are certainly not fishing for compliments.'
Although the official consultation period is now over, you can give feedback on the new design via the Family Law Twitter channel @JordansFamLaw.
The design of the new Family Court seal is available to download here.