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Why the Practice of Family Law needs Radical Reform

Date:26 APR 2010

DR ROGER KENNEDY Cassel Hospital

I have been giving evidence in court for some 30 years most of that time from my position as consultant psychiatrist at the Cassel Hospital a place of last resort for the assessment and treatment of multi problem families. As a result of this work my team and I have had extensive experience of giving expert evidence in a wide variety of courts across the UK including the High Court Principle Registry county courts and magistrates' courts. This has given us an opportunity to experience for ourselves considerable variation in practice. As well as having to deal with public law I have also undertaken a number of private law assessments mainly involving complex contact disputes. Much of the clinical issues around both these sorts of work have already been described elsewhere (R Kennedy Psychotherapists as Expert Witnesses; families at breaking point (Karnac 2005)). The purpose of this article is to share some of my grave doubts about the way that family law is practised in this country in the hope that it...

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