Greater Manchester Family Proceedings
A working Party was established in 2006 to consider the development of a model for the future delivery of family justice in Greater Manchester. Since the Working Party was established there were various developments including the opening of Manchester Civil Justice Centre in October 2007, the implementation of Public Law Outline in April 2008 and the Allocation and Transfer of Proceedings Order in November 2008.
In December 2008 HMCS published a consultation regarding the Working Party’s proposal that all public law Children Act 1989 work in Greater Manchester be heard at Manchester Civil Justice Centre. The FJC responded to the consultation in March 2009.
- HMCS Consultation: Greater Manchester Family Proceedings Courts
- HMCS Response Following Consultation on Greater Manchester Family Proceedings Courts – September 2009
Allocation and Transfer of Proceedings Order 2008
In June 2008 the FJC provided a response to the HMCS consultation regarding the Allocation and Transfer of Proceedings Order 2008 and Practice Direction.
The objectives of the Order and Practice Direction, which the FJC welcomed, were to ensure that cases are dealt with at the most appropriate level of court and that all judicial resources available to the family justice system are utilised.
- FJC Response to Consultation Paper: Allocation and Transfer of Proceedings Order 2008 – June 2008
- Allocation and Transfer of Proceedings Order – Laid before Parliament on 3 November 2008
- Practice Direction given by the President of the Family Division on 3 November 2008
Related Family and Criminal Proceedings
The Joint Directions Hearings Protocol in linked criminal and public law Children Act (care) cases was introduced in Greater Manchester courts in June 2008. The Protocol specifies procedures to be followed for linked direction hearings when criminal and care proceedings are occurring concurrently. The operation of the protocol was reviewed and in June 2009 it was expanded to include child cruelty cases in Greater Manchester.
In November 2007 the Law Society published a good practice guide to assist those working on cases that span the family and criminal jurisdictions. The guide was produced by the Family-Criminal Interface Committee and was commended by the President of the Family Division and the President of the Queen’s Bench Division.
Destination of Appeals Order
In December 2008 the FJC responded to a Ministry of Justice consultation regarding the contents of a new destination of appeals order.
Family Procedure Rules
In August 2006 HMCS published a consultation regarding the policy behind the proposed new family procedure rules which were made by the Family Procedure Rule Committee. The FJC responded to the consultation in December 2006.