Latest news

1 July 2019
Guidance on the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce – a guide for professionals
The Family Justice Council is pleased to announce the publication of A Guide to the Treatment of Pensions on Divorce

Produced by the multidisciplinary Pensions Advisory Group, with the support of the Council, the report provides a clear good practice guide for family judges, lawyers and pension experts.  It hopes to improve communication amongst the professionals and help address the shortfall in understanding about how they should deal with the valuation, sharing or offsetting of pension fund assets in divorce settlements.  Further information can be found at: https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/news/new-good-practice-guide-addresses-shortfall-understanding-how-treat-pensions-divorce

24 May 2019
Interim Guidance on Special Guardianship

1. This interim guidance is issued by the Family Justice Council with the approval of the Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, in response to some of the issues identified in Re P-S (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1407. Its primary purpose is to address cases where an extension to the statutory 26-week time limit is sought in order to assess potential special guardians, more fully, within public law proceedings.
2. In producing this guidance, the Council has worked closely with the President’s Public Law Working Group, chaired by Mr Justice Keehan and with the researchers commissioned by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, and led by CoramBAAF in partnership with Lancaster University, to review the research evidence on special guardianship. More comprehensive guidance on public law is expected later in the year but the Council felt there was a need to provide some interim guidance on special guardianship to assist practitioners, now, and to help start the process of change.

24 May 2019
Timetabling and timescales for full Family and Friends Assessments
It has become evident that Directions are being made for completion of full Family and Friends Assessments in unachievably short timescales, sometimes between 6 – 8 weeks, in the mistaken belief that compliance with the 26 week timescale is the determinative priority in the management of a case.

22 March 2019
FJC Conference and Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture 2019 – Thresholds for state intervention
The Family Justice Council conference and Bridget Lindley Memorial Lecture took place on 12th March 2019

19 December 2018
Family Justice Council – 12th Annual Debate: Covert recordings in family law
The Family Justice Council held its 12th Annual Debate and panel discussion in Leeds on Monday, 3rd December 2018.

6 December 2018
Working together to address pressing questions about special guardianship
The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (FJO) has commissioned adoption and fostering academy CoramBAAF to undertake a rapid evidence review on Special Guardianship to support the Family Justice Council.

14 November 2018
Appointment of two new members to the Family Justice Council.
We are pleased to announce the following appointments to the Council:

  • Annie Bertram as the new Parents and Relatives member
  • Claire Webb as the new Mediator member

The appointments are for three years from November 2018.  The posts are unremunerated.  The appointments process for each post was conducted in line with the principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

22 August 2018
Can you help to deliver better Justice for Families? – Applications are invited from individuals to represent Parents’ and Relatives’ interests
Applications must be submitted by noon on Friday 5 October 2018.

7 August 2018
Paediatricians as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts – August 2018
New guidance published: Paediatricians as Expert Witnesses in the Family Courts

26 April 2018
Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce: Edition 2 – April 2018
The FJC has now published the second edition of this useful guide for the family judiciary, courts and legal advisers

26 April 2018
Guidance on the Capacity to Litigate in Proceedings Involving Children – April 2018
This guidance has been produced to assist judges in the Family Court to resolve mental capacity issues concerning parties to family law proceedings

26 February 2018
Sixth Open Meeting of the Family Justice Council on 23 April 2018
All applications must be received by 13 April 2018

29 March 2018
The second Bridget Lindley Annual Memorial Lecture: Transcript and Podcast

12 December 2017
A transcript and podcast of the FJC’s 11th Annual Debate on the court’s role in sanctioning medical treatment and the withdrawal of medical treatment of children is now available.

5 September 2017
Appointment of two new members to the Family Justice Council.
We are pleased to announce that Colette Dutton and Karen Simmons have been appointed by the President of the Family Division, to be the Assistant Director of Children’s Services members of the Family Justice Council (FJC).  The appointments are for three years from 21 July 2017. The posts are unremunerated.

The appointments process was conducted in line with the principles set out in the Governance Code on Public Appointments.

25 May 2017
The impacts of abuse and neglect on children; and comparison of different placement options: Evidence review
The Department for Education has recently published an evidence review examining the effects of abuse and neglect on children, and whether different placement types affect their outcomes.

15 May 2017
Can you help to deliver better Justice for Families?
The closing date for the Assistant Director of Children’s Services vacancy has now passed.

9 March 2017
The Inaugural Bridget Lindley Annual Memorial Lecture: Lecture by Lord Justice McFarlane: Holding the Risk – the Balance between Child Protection and the Right to Family Life

20 December 2016
A transcript and podcast of the FJC’s 10th Annual Debate on Settlement Conferences is now available.

22 November 2016
The deadline for applications to attend the 10th Annual Debate has now passed and the event is full. A podcast and transcript will be published on our website after the event.

30 June 2016
Guidance on “Financial Needs” on Divorce
This guide has been produced by the Family Justice Council and is addressed primarily to courts and legal advisers.  It is intended as a useful tool in relation to the making of orders to meet financial needs following divorce and the dissolution of civil partnerships.

6 May 2016
Psychologists as expert witnesses in the Family Courts in England and Wales: Standards, competencies and expectations
Guidance produced by The Family Justice Council, in conjunction with the British Psychological Society

05 April 2016
The FJC has published a new guide for litigants in person Sorting out Finances on Divorce.

17 December 2015
Going to Court about a Family Issue?
This leaflet is for litigants in person to alert them to a series of online family law guides available on the Advicenow website

2 December 2015
A full transcript and podcast of the Council’s 9th Annual Debate on Adoption Without Parental Consent is now available.

10 November 2015
We are pleased to announce that DJ Andrew Greensmith and HHJ Jane Probyn have been appointed by the President of the Family Division, in consultation with the Lord Chancellor, to be members of the Family Justice Council (FJC) for 3 years from October 2015.

See the membership list for a full list of the members.

7 October 2015
The Family Justice Council is holding its 9th Annual Debate and panel discussion on Tuesday 24 November 2015.

15 July 2015
The Ministry of Justice publishes the final report of the Triennial Review of the Family Justice Council.

30 March 2015
The FJC have funded two films on the advicenow website:
How to represent yourself in family court
How to complete your financial statement (Form E) without the help of a solicitor

23 March 2015
Vacancy: Academic member, Child Mental Health Specialist member, Paediatrician member and Justices’ Clerk/Assistant Justices’ Clerk member (This advert has closed)

20 March 2015
Final Report of the Vulnerable Witnesses and Children Working Group

10 February 2015
How to get a divorce or end a civil partnership without the help of a lawyer
Guidance available on the advicenow website.

9 February 2015
Appointment of 3 members of the Family Justice Council
Appointment of Elizabeth Isaacs QC, Helen Morris and Sara McIlroy as new members of the Family Justice Council.

8 December 2014
Podcast: Transparency in family proceedings – Is the Family Court Open for Business?

23 October 2014
Practice Direction – New national standards for family court experts

23 October 2014
Children’s relationship with separated parents to be emphasised by new law

8 October 2014
Transparency and the Family Court Family Justice Council 8th Annual Debate

14 February 2014
FJC Response to Court Fees: Proposals for Reform

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