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Speech by Lord Justice McFarlane: Families Need Fathers Conference 2018

Families Need Fathers has an honourable history and rightly demands the respect and understanding of the senior family judiciary. I share the view of Sir James Munby that it is important for the President of the Family Division to have an ongoing relationship with easy communication with your organisation.

For my part, during my time as Family Division Liaison Judge for the Midlands, some 7 or more years ago, I valued contact with local FNF groups and learnt a good deal from individual FNF members, even though their accounts of the operation of the family system were, at times, depressing.

The knowledge and experience gained from these encounters with FNF members, and more widely from sitting as a Family judge, travelled with me into the Family Justice Review, where I was the legal member of the small review team. In that role I worked closely with Sir David Norgrove to understand the problems then inherent in the functioning of the private side of the child law jurisdiction and to develop the Review’s recommendations in that regard.

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