Family Court Bench Book and Reference Cards

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The Family Court Bench Book (FCBB) provides guidance for magistrates who sit in the Family Court. It is used for reference at court and to support consistent training. The Bench Book is supplemented by reference cards and signposts relevant legislation, practice directions and guidance. These help magistrates undertake the task of decision making in a fair and structured manner.

The 2018 edition reflects the latest phase of the Family Justice Reforms in relation to vulnerable parties and witnesses and also the changes to Practice Direction 12J Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm.

To enable us to publish the FCBB as quickly as possible, please note that the index has been removed. The bench book can still be searched by pressing Ctrl+F (Command+F on a Mac or iPad) within the document and inserting your search term.