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Family court system at breaking point, says Resolution

“People are giving up and not seeing their children”

Jo Edwards, the chair of Resolution, has told The Guardian that the family courts system is at breaking point as a result of delays caused by the increase in the number of litigants in person.

Ms Edwards said that she feared that a two-tier system of justice was emerging in which private clients would favour arbitration over "overcrowded, slow-moving public courts".

Freedom of Information releases have revealed that in 2013/14, for the first time ever, over half (57%) of all parents who attended court in private law children proceedings did so without a lawyer to represent them. In total, family courts dealt with 19,140 more unrepresented parents.

Ms Edwards noted:

"People are just giving up and not seeing their children because they don't know how to go about it."

She added:

"We recently met the Association of District Judges and they were virtually holding their heads in their hands and saying it's very difficult."

The article in The Guardian is here.

30/7/14