You can find the draft Bill here, and explanatory notes here. I don't propose to go through the relevant provisions of the Bill in depth as many of them are quite tedious, but here are the main points:
Clause 17 inserts a new Part 4A into the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984, section 31A of which establishes the family court.
Schedule 10 sets out the detail. Part 1 adds further sections to Part 4A of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. These include:
- Section 31C, which essentially makes everyone who presently deals with family cases, from the Lord Chief Justice down to magistrates, into a judge of the family court.
- Section 31D, which provides for the making of rules as to the composition of the family court and the distribution of business among judges of the court (certain 'lower' judges may be prohibited from conducting specified business).
- Section 31E, which enables the family court to make any order that could be made by the High Court if the proceedings were in the High Court, or any order that could be made by the county court if the proceedings were there.
- Section 31F, which bestows on the family court certain powers relating to hearings and orders that mirror existing powers contained in the County Courts Act 1984 and the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980.
- Section 31I, which provides that the High Court may transfer proceedings pending in the family court to the High Court, where it considers it desirable to do so.
- Section 31K, which deals with appeals.
- Section 31L, which deals with the court's enforcement powers.
Part 2 of Schedule 10 makes amendments to other enactments arising out of the creation of the family court, principally to enable existing family legislation to apply to proceedings in the new family court.
Part 3 of Schedule 10 lists repeals and revocations to legislation in consequence of Parts 1 and 2 of the Schedule.
Finally, Schedule 11 makes amendments to legislation providing for the transfer of jurisdiction to the family court. As the notes state, principally these amendments reflect the fact that the county court and magistrates’ courts will no longer deal with family proceedings and to transfer their family jurisdiction to the new family court.