Westminster Legal Policy Forum

The future for family justice in England and Wales - court reform, divorce law and the future of care proceedings

Morning, Wednesday, 25th April 2018

Central London

THIS EVENT IS CPD CERTIFIED



Following Government’s manifesto commitments to explore ways of improving the family justice system - and in the context of rising numbers of both public and private family law cases being brought - this seminar will consider key challenges and opportunities for the development of family justice policy in England and Wales.


Delegates will consider emerging issues in divorce law, looking at the effectiveness of initial trials to introduce on-line divorce and the de-linking of divorce and ‘money’ claims, as well as latest thinking on recent calls for the introduction of ‘no-fault’ divorce. Discussion is also expected on the protection of children and vulnerable witnesses in the Family Court, including the future for Government’s previous proposals to legislate to prevent perpetrators of domestic abuse from directly cross-examining their victims.


Further sessions will consider latest trends in care proceedings, looking in particular at challenges for managing the demands being placed on court services by increasing case-loads, maintaining  standards following the introduction of the 26 week time limit, and ensuring that the system remains centred around the interests of the child. Following Government’s recent announcement of further funding for problem-solving court services, delegates will also consider the future of family drug and alcohol courts projects, and the implications for both court-users and local authorities.


This conference is expected to bring together policymakers and the judicial representatives with a range of interested stakeholders, including lawyers, expert witnesses, local authorities and service-user groups, as well as campaign groups, commentators and reporting press.



Guests of Honour

Sir James Munby

President of the Family Division, High Court of England and Wales

Dr Elizabeth Gibby

Deputy Director, Family Justice Policy Division, Ministry of Justice

Guests of Honour

Sir James Munby

President of the Family Division, High Court of England and Wales

Dr Elizabeth Gibby

Deputy Director, Family Justice Policy Division, Ministry of Justice

Keynote Speakers

Adam Lennon

Head of Family Modernisation and Improvement, HM Courts & Tribunals Service

Anthony Douglas

Chief Executive, Cafcass

Chair

Suella Fernandes MP

Speakers

Michael Lewkowicz

Business Manager, Families Need Fathers

Philip Marshall QC

Chairman, Family Law Bar Association

Jane Robey

Chief Executive Officer, National Family Mediation

Cathy Ashley

Chief Executive, Family Rights Group