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Lord Chief Justice expresses concern over continuing delays in the family courts

Review of the Administration of Justice in the Courts published

The Lord Chief Justice’s Review of the Administration of Justice in the Courts was published last week.  Lord Judge’s report covers matters of importance to the judiciary relating to the administration of justice in England and Wales during the year to the end of September 2009.

In the section devoted to the family courts, Lord Judge notes the several initiatives that have been introduced in order to improve the effectiveness of the family justice system against a background of increasing court lists. However, he comments:

“This increase [of family business] has placed great strains upon the family judges at all levels and upon the administration in the face of the limited number of court days available for the dispatch of family business. As a result of the limited resources and mounting delays of Cafcass upon whose work the family courts are reliant in both public and private law children proceedings, delays in the dispatch of family business are inevitably increasing and represent cause for concern. Despite the production of the President’s Interim Guidance in an effort to assist this problem, this trend seems unlikely to be reversed.”

The review can be purchased from The Stationery Office or downloaded from the Judiciary website.