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Working groups

Current working groups:

Capacity Assessment of Children (to directly instruct their lawyer)

Lead member: Melanie Carew

Objective: To provide advice on: 1. A standard process of how and when a solicitor assesses a child as competent, including the role of the guardian. 2. The circumstances in which the solicitor should not assert that the child is competent. 3. The procedure if the assessment of the solicitor is challenged.

Outcome: Multidisciplinary best practice guidance to ensure consistency of approach.

Communication strategy

Lead Member: Secretariat

Objective: To publicise the FJC and its work and to consider its role in signposting to online information.

Outcome: Improved use of the FJC webpages and other resources to enable better access and navigation of the family court for LiPs and stakeholders.

Death by Suicide within Family Proceedings: Awareness and support

Lead member: HHJ Jane Probyn

Objective: To investigate the risk and resilience factors for suicide and self-harm and to consider what training would be helpful to support the judiciary and court participants.

Outcome: Best practice guidance and training and support for litigants and judiciary


Professor Rosemary HunterDomestic Abuse

Lead Member: Professor Rosemary Hunter

Objective: To produce Best Practice Guidance to cover all aspects of domestic abuse cases including civil injunctions, private law children and financial matters.

Outcome: Best practice and consistency in the family court.


Experts in the family justice system

Lead member: Mr Justice Williams

Objective: To oversee the national implementation of recommendations emerging from the President’s Experts Working Group.

Outcome: To promote the work of medical and health experts in the family justice system.


Use of covert recordings in family law proceedings concerning children

Lead Member: Natasha Watson

Objective: To consider the issues arising from covert recording from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint, and thereafter to make recommendations as to the formulation of FJC guidance.

Outcome: The development of guidance to encourage good practice in relation to professionals – to diminish the need for covert recordings by promoting accurate and overt recordings of professional interaction.