COMMONS

The working of the Family Courts

20 July 2010

The Justice Select Committee is to launch an inquiry into the operation of the family courts, it was announced today. The Committee is calling for written evidence and is particularly interested in receiving evidence which addresses the following issues:

i) 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;


ii) The impact on court proceedings and access to justice of recent and proposed changes to legal aid;


iii) The role, operation and resourcing of mediation and other methods in resolving matters before they reach court;


iv) Confidentiality and openness in family courts, including the impact of the recent changes in the Children, Schools and Families Act 2010.

Call for evidence: Written evidence should be in Word or rich text format with as little use of colour or logos as possible, and sent by e-mail to [email protected].

The body of the e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. The deadline for submissions is 13 September 2010.

Submissions must address the terms of reference. They should be in the format of a self-contained memorandum and should be no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and the document must include an executive summary. View guidance on the submission of evidence to Select Committees.


Submissions should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere, though previously published work can be referred to in a submission and submitted as supplementary material. Once submitted, your submission becomes the property of the Committee and no public use should be made of it unless you have first obtained permission from the Clerk of the Committee.

 
PLEASE BEAR IN MIND THAT THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE IS NOT ABLE TO INVESTIGATE INDIVIDUAL CASES.

 
The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to publish the written evidence it receives, either by printing the evidence, publishing it on the internet or making it publicly available through the Parliamentary Archives. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure; the Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. For data protection purposes, it would be helpful if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details in a covering letter or e-mail. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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