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New national standards for family court experts

Revised Practice Direction 25B introduced

Changes to the family court rules mean only qualified, experienced and recognised professionals will be able to give evidence as expert witnesses in family proceedings relating to children. This change follows the new laws implemented in April which mean expert evidence will now only be commissioned where a judge considers it necessary to resolve a case justly.

The standards, set out in a new Practice Direction 25B, include making sure that the expert:

The standards were developed in partnership with the Family Justice Council. These changes form part of wide-ranging work intended to make sure delays in courts are minimised so that children and young people do not face unnecessary uncertainty.

An article concerning the new standards, written by Louise McCallum of Zenith Chambers will be published by Family Law Week shortly.

Read the full practice direction here.