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Family Justice - your views on its future

‘Call for Evidence’ so that anyone with an interest in the family justice system can contribute their views on how it can work better in the future.

Views on how the family justice system can do its best to protect children and help families to work through their disagreements are being sought by a panel of experts.

The Family Justice Review Panel, appointed by the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education, and the Welsh Assembly Government, today launched a ‘Call for Evidence’ so that anyone with an interest in the family justice system can contribute their views on how it can work better in the future. 

This is part of a fundamental review of the system announced by the Government in the coalition agreement. The Review will be comprehensive in scope including looking at how to improve use of mediation and provide better access rights to non-resident parents and grandparents. The ‘Call for Evidence’ is seeking views on key areas of the family justice system including how to have a more user-friendly and child-focused system; the best methods of resolving family disputes, using alternatives to legal process, and how the system is governed, managed, and funded.

Questions the Panel is seeking views on include:  How can the justice system focus more on helping family members to reach agreement rather than pitting them against each other?  How best can the courts working with other agencies support children involved in the care system?  And how best can the system provide greater contact rights to non-resident parents and grandparents?

The evidence will be carefully considered and used to inform the Review’s recommendations on how to improve the system.

David Norgrove, the Chair of the Review said:

"The family justice system is vitally important, attempting to resolve some of the most difficult issues in our society.  I and my Panel colleagues are determined to help create a better system to serve the needs of those who use it.  We are also being challenged to find ways of doing more with less. 

“We cannot do this alone.  The launch of this call for evidence today is the start of a dialogue with all those involved in the system - from the children and families who use these services, to the wide range of professionals.

“We are ambitious in what we want to achieve; we would encourage as many people as possible to be ambitious in their responses."

Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

“The family justice system bravely tackles some of the most challenging and difficult issues in our society.  It protects children from harm, and helps families to get through complex and sometimes very damaging personal situations. We must do all we can to help the system to work as effectively as possible for those who need it.

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