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Speech by Sir James Munby to the Family Law Bar Association

|Speeches|Sir James Munby

Speech by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division

26 February 2016

On the last occasion when you kindly asked me to speak at this splendid event, I noted that the pace of reform had slowed. Our primary task last year was retrenchment and consolidation – making sure that all the reforms were properly embedded and that there was no backsliding. Today I have to tell you that we are now moving forward into a new phase of reform; reform so fundamental that in retrospect the great reforms implemented in April 2014 will seem modest in comparison.

Some of these are reforms which are already in progress – even if that progress has been much less rapid than I would have wished. In relation to Transparency, Dr Julia Brophy of Oxford University, together with NYAS and, very importantly and most revealingly, a group of young people, have produced a valuable research report analysing some of the effects of the Guidance I issued in January 2014. That work is now being supplemented with a further short research project by Dr Brophy. At the same time, Dr Julie Doughty of Cardiff University is undertaking some parallel and equally important research. I hope to be able, within the next few months, to issue for consultation draft Guidance on how better to anonymise judgments so as to minimise the risk of ‘jig-saw’ identification.

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