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Lord Justice Thorpe requests practitioners’ assistance with relocation research project

Details of research into relocation disputes within England and Wales published on Family Law Week

Lord Justice Thorpe has written to family law solicitors and barristers, requesting their assistance with a research project into relocation disputes in England and Wales. Family Law Week has been asked to reproduce the letter, which we are pleased to do.

The research into first instance court decisions in relocation cases is being conducted by Dr Rob George of Oxford University. For fuller details of the project, please click here.

Lord Justice Thorpe's letter is as follows:

During 2012, Dr Rob George of the University of Oxford is conducting a research project into relocation disputes in England and Wales. He hopes to collect as many orders and judgments from first instance courts as possible for the entire year, so as to get an overview of everyday relocation cases.

The President of the Family Division previously authorised this research project under Rule 12.73(c) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. Dr George is consequently allowed to see orders and judgments in relocation cases which are not anonymised, and anyone legitimately in possession of such orders or judgments is allowed to provide Dr George with a copy of them.

The President's authorisation for this relocation research project encompasses:

- both court orders and court judgments. either of which may be supplied to Dr George (and orders should be sent even if there is no accompanying judgment);
- both international and internal relocation cases in which court orders are made; and 
- both contested orders and consent orders.

Because of the difficulty of obtaining materials from first instance courts, I am writing to ask you, as solicitors and barristers working in family law, to assist Dr George by providing him with copies of any relevant orders or judgments made during 2012. Please send copies of any relevant materials to the Legal Secretary to the Head of International Family Justice, Mr Edward Bennett, at the Royal Courts of Justice (preferably by email to ), who will pass them on to Dr George.

Thank you for your assistance with this project.

Yours sincerely,

Lord Justice Thorpe