The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane is pleased to announce the commencement of a further consultation on remote and hybrid hearings in the family court.
The consultation has opened now and will run until 1 October 2020. A report is expected in mid-October.
This further research project will again be undertaken by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, an independent organisation which is committed to improving life for children and families by putting data and evidence at the heart of the family justice system. The Nuffield FJO carried out a rapid consultation about remote hearings in the family court in April 2020. The subsequent report provided many helpful and informative suggestions for good practice.
It is now clear that while some physical hearings are taking place, social distancing will continue to apply. Many hearings continue to take place over video links or by phone and will, for many more months to come. The system is still adjusting to these changes and challenges of the backlog of cases.
As a result, the President of the Family Division welcomes a second, follow-up survey of how the system is working.