Constitutional Affairs Committee

Press notice 20 of Session 2003-04                15 November 2004

Family Justice:  the family courts

The Constitutional Affairs Committee will hold further evidence sessions on: Family Justice: the family courts. Details of the sessions are set out below.

The Committee announced this inquiry on 20 September 2004 ( Press Notice 17, Session 2003-04, available on the Press Notices page of the Committee’s website:

Key areas to be investigated are:

• whether the family court system is being run effectively

• whether family court judges have sufficient powers

• issues surrounding delays caused by the current system

• whether people using family courts are getting the service they deserve

Details of the evidence sessions are as follows:

Tuesday 7 December, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

9.30 am
The Law Society; Solicitors Family Law Association; Family Law Bar Association 

Tuesday 14 December, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

9.30 am
Women’s Aid; NSPCC; Mavis Maclean, Senior Research Fellow, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of Oxford and John Eekelaar, Reader in Law, University of Oxford; Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS)

Tuesday 11 January 2005, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

9.30 am
Equal Parenting Council; Families Need Fathers; NCH; Celia Conrad

Tuesday 18 January 2005, Grimond Room, Portcullis House

Baroness Ashton of Upholland, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs

Transcripts of the sessions will be available on the Reports and Publications page of the Committee’s website: .

1.The first evidence session of this inquiry was held on Tuesday 9 November. The Committee heard from: Rt Hon Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss DBE, President of the Family Division, Rt Hon Lord Justice Wall, Hon Mr Justice Munby, High Court of Justice, Family Division, His Honour Judge Meston QC, a Circuit Judge from the Western Circuit, District Judge Michael Walker, Honorary Secretary of the Association of District Judges and District Judge Nicholas Crichton, Inner London and City Family Proceedings Court
2.Committee Membership is as follows: Rt Hon Alan Beith MP (Chairman), Peter Bottomley MP, Mr Hilton Dawson MP, Mr James Clappison MP, Ross Cranston QC MP, Mr Andrew Rosindell MP, Mr Clive Soley MP, Mrs Ann Cryer MP, Keith Vaz MP, Mr Jim Cunningham MP, Dr Alan Whitehead MP
3.News Release 20