England and Wales’ most senior family judge launches review into the Family Courts

Posted on Thursday August 8, 2019

Sir Andrew McFarlane, the President of the Family Division, has launched a review into the Family Courts.

The review comes amid an explosion in the number of cases coming before the Family Courts, with applications from social services departments having increased by 25 per cent since 2016. Meanwhile, last year, there were more than 53,000 new private cases involving more than 123,000 children – an all-time high.

A key aim of the consultation is to identify which cases are suitable for mediation or dispute resolution and can, therefore, be handled without needing to come to court.

Sir Andrew McFarlane said: “The system is… trying to run up a down escalator. Everyone is working flat-out but delays are creeping into the system.”

The review is expected to report in the autumn.

Link: Family courts ‘running up a down escalator’ due to increase in cases