High Court Family Division to reserve Mondays for urgent applications

FamilyFamily CourtFamily DivisionHigh CourtPresident of the Family DivisionSir Andrew McFarlaneLady Chief JusticeNews

From Tuesday 9 April 2024 only urgent applications, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) List hearings, and five-day hearings will be listed on Mondays in the Family Division of the High Court. Non-urgent hearings already listed for Mondays will still go ahead.

The administrative support for the Family Division of the High Court, including listing, court associates, ushers and general office staff, is provided by the Clerk of the Rules’ Office (‘CoR Office’). Last year an in-depth and wide-ranging review of the operation of the CoR Office was undertaken at the joint request of the President of the Family Division and the Chief Executive of HMCTS. The review recommended a number of key reforms be implemented to ensure the CoR Office provided efficient and effective support to the functioning of the Family Division. These reforms are in the process of being implemented.   

The President of the Family Division, with the agreement of the Lady Chief Justice, has decided to approve a temporary, exceptional model for Family Division listing to enable these key reforms to be effected and embedded speedily and sustainably. Accordingly, the default position during term time will be that the judges of the Family Division (including those listed to sit as Deputy High Court Judges) will not be listed to sit  in the Royal Courts of Justice on Mondays. 

This temporary arrangement will allow for reforms to be implemented and embedded, training to be undertaken and appropriate preparations to be made by the CoR Office for the week ahead. Exceptions to this arrangement will be the urgent applications list, the National DoLs List, cases of five days or more that need to be continuously listed to include Mondays, and during the vacation periods.

This listing model will be implemented after the Easter vacation on 9 April 2024 until 30 April 2025, but the continuing need for this arrangement will be periodically reviewed and will conclude once it is no longer considered to be necessary for the efficient and effective support to the functioning of the Family Division.