Guidance issued by Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division on 2 May 2017
It is apparent that there is widespread misunderstanding as to the extent to which judges (which for this purpose includes magistrates) can properly participate in Serious Case Reviews (SCRs). The purpose of this Guidance is to clarify the position and to explain what judges can and cannot do.
This guidance applies to all judges sitting in the Family Division or the Family Court, including Magistrates and, where exercising judicial functions, Legal Advisers.
Judges should provide every assistance to SCRs which is compatible with judicial independence. It is, however, necessary to be aware that key constitutional principles of judicial independence, the separation of powers and the rule of law can be raised by SCRs.