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President sets out his vision for national system of Financial Remedies Courts

View from the President’s Chambers (18)

In his 18th View from the President's Chambers, Sir James Munby has set out his vision of what needs to be done in respect of the determination of financial remedies – what he terms the 'Cinderella of family justice'.

The President says that his 'core ambition for financial remedy work is to improve significantly both the application of procedural justice and the delivery of substantive justice'. He considers that procedural justice will be bettered by the appointment of a cadre of specialist judges to the Financial Remedies Court (FRC) and by a process of early allocation of a case to the right judge at the right level at the right place, so as to ensure maximum efficiency. It will be bettered by the application and enforcement of standard directions and interim orders and by ensuring that FDRs (where the majority of cases settle already) are conducted with consistency, with sufficient time being allowed not only for the hearing but also for judicial preparation.

The basic concept of the FRC, which builds on both the Family Court and regionalised Court of Protection models, is as follows:

The FRC will be piloted in three areas, starting in February or March 2018: London, the West Midlands and South-East Wales. Further pilots will follow after Easter 2018.

The Family Procedure Rule Committee at its meeting on 6 February 2018 will be presented with a paper prepared by Mostyn J and HHJ Hess indicating proposed amendments to the FPR and a draft revised Form A (attached to the View), designed to be used for all types of financial remedy application.

In relation to the de-linking of divorce and 'money', the President recognises the concerns expressed by many in response to the suggestion that the question in the petition relating to financial claims should be removed. What is now proposed as the appropriate way forward is:

For the 18th View for the President's Chambers, click here.