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Cost of family justice system ‘worryingly high’, says Thorpe LJ

Family justice system ‘stretched to breaking point’

Solicitors Journal reports Thorpe LJ's comments in a recently released judgment that the cost of the family justice system is "worryingly high" and it is the duty of judges to safeguard resources.

The comments are included in his judgment in C (Children) [2009] EWCA Civ 994, a Court of Appeal case involving a contact order. The judgment in was given last year but has only recently been published on the instructions of Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division.

The case concerned a father's application for a contact order to see his son. The judge at first instance refused the mother's application for a fact-finding hearing. Thorpe LJ, upholding that decision, said: "It is well known that the family justice system, both in the public law and in the private law dimensions, is stretched to breaking point."

For fuller details, visit the website of Solicitors Journal. The judgment will appear on Family Law Week shortly.