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Message from the President of the Family Division: The Road Ahead 2021

The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has issued a message addressing the latest lockdown and 'the road ahead'.

At the beginning of the message, the President notes that the Lord Chief Justice has made it clear that the courts will continue to function during Lockdown 3, but that footfall in court buildings must be kept to a minimum. The default position will be to facilitate the remote attendance of all or some of those involved in hearings. Whilst there is a most welcome 'light at the end of the tunnel', in the form of mass vaccination, this 'light' is only likely to lead to a return to anything like normal working in the Family Court once the bulk of the population have been vaccinated, which may not be achieved for some time. Thus, the President says, we are facing not only a period of enhanced provision of remote hearings during Lockdown 3, but also a further, albeit more relaxed, period with a significant proportion of remote/hybrid hearings over the next six months before, it is hoped, getting back to normality.

For the President's message, click here.