Strong stuff from the President

I just thought I should do a quick post linking to the speech Changing the culture, given by Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division, to the Law Reform Committee of the Bar Council last night. You can find the full speech here, and a summary in Solicitors Journal, here. In the speech the President made a number of important points, including the headline-grabbing one that he does not consider that a Family Justice Service, as recommended by the Family Justice Review, is either practical (at least in the short term) or necessary. In any event, he doubts that the recommendation will be implemented by the government, for cost reasons.

He also sprang to the defence of family lawyers, saying that in his experience, they do not prolong cases or cause undue expense, and that good ones give "sensible, realistic advice". "Against this background", he says, "it is a matter of considerable anxiety to me that the government propose to take nearly all private law family work out of the scope of public funding". He has "considerable concern" that the public funding of mediation "will not be sufficient to resolve the problems of the myriad of unrepresented litigants who will come before the family courts".


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