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Second report of Private Law Working Group published

The Private Law Working Group has published its second report.

The PrLWG was convened in 2018 under the chairmanship of Mr Justice Cobb to review the approach taken to private disputes between parents with respect to the arrangements for their children's future welfare following a separation.

In July 2019 the PrLWG published its first report and invited responses during a consultation period which ran until the end of September. The purpose of the Second Report is to draw together the key themes that were highlighted during consultation and to describe how the Group's thoughts have developed as a result during the past six months.

The major message of the work of the PrLWG, as described by the President of the Family Division in his announcement of publication, is that "the challenge of dealing with the fallout from many broken parental relationships is one that should be shared by society in general; the PrLWG rightly see a role for local agencies delivering a nationally supported resource for separating families. While there is always a role for a judge or magistrate sitting in a court room, the report re-ignites an important conversation about services for families, and dispute resolution, out of the courtroom."

Alongside the PrLWG's work, the Ministry of Justice has established a panel to consider the ability of the Family Court to engage with issues of domestic abuse and other serious offences when they arise. The work of this Panel is of importance.  The PrLWG wish to take full account of the MOJ Domestic Abuse Panel's recommendations and the report published today should not, therefore, be seen as 'final' but a description of work in progress and will, in time, be followed by a third and probably further reports.

For the report, click here. For the President's announcement, click here.