Operation of the Family Courts

The Justice Select Committee launched an inquiry into the operation of the family courts and called for written evidence which addressed the following issues:

  • The effect of CAFCASS’s operations on court proceedings, and the impact on the courts of the sponsorship of CAFCASS by the Department of Education;
  • The impact on court proceedings and access to justice of recent and proposed changes to legal aid;
  • The role, operation and resourcing of mediation and other methods in resolving matters before they reach court;
  • Confidentiality and openness in family courts, including the impact of the recent changes in the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010.



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    • Reports and associated evidence – Reports of Committee inquires. This category may also include Special Reports where they are used by a Committee to bring matters relating to conduct of its business to the notice of the House.
    • Responses to Reports - Responses may be published as a Special Report, or as a Command Paper. They may also be appended to a Report should the Committee have substantial comments on the Response, in which case they can be found listed under Reports. 
    • Other oral and written evidence - Evidence taken by the Committee that has yet to or did not result in the publication of a Report. This includes transcripts of recent meetings.
    • Estimate Memoranda - An Estimate memorandum is an explanatory note that accompanies a government department’s estimate (a means by which a department seeks authority from Parliament for its spending plans).
    • Correspondence - Correspondence sent from or received by the Committee or its Chair.

Select Committee Inquiries

Select Committees carry out inquiries on areas ranging from the work of government departments to economic affairs. The results of these inquiries are public and many require a response from the government.