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President’s guidance on e-bundles for public law children proceedings

In late December 2021, the President of the Family Division provided guidance on the use of e-bundles in the Family Court and Family Division (for an earlier article in relation to this guidance, click here). Amongst the general guidance, a specific exemption was made for bundles for public law children hearings with regards to pagination. Whilst for all other family proceedings, bundle pagination is required to start at page 1 for the first page and follow sequentially to the last page of the bundle to ensure the pagination matches the PDF numbering, this was not required in public law children proceedings.

Following the meeting of the working group for e-bundles in January 2022, the President issued a Memorandum on 18 February 2022 setting out further guidance with specific regard to the issue of public law children bundles. The working group had carried out considerable research with numerous local authorities as to the practical feasibility and cost implications of changing the way in which bundles are paginated to the sequential numbering system.

The President has accepted the recommendation of the working group to further extend the temporary suspension on sequential pagination of bundles in public law children proceedings. This means that until 01 January 2023 at the earliest, the current practice in care proceedings of paginating bundles, i.e. that each section of the bundle has its own sequential numbering, shall continue. However, the President reiterated that this suspension is temporary and that in time public law children proceedings should have identical standards for pagination to all other family proceedings.

For the President's Memorandum, click here.

Julia Queen, Barrister, Coram Chambers

19 February 2022