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#Care cases: Settlement conferences and the ‘tandem’ model

Photo credit_ JohnE777 via Foter.com _ CC BY14th View from the President’s Chambers: Care cases: Settlement conferences and the ‘tandem’ model

By Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division. Originally published via Family Law on 16th August 2016 via Family Law.

This article concentrates on two important initiatives:

  1. Settlement Conferences
  2. The ‘tandem’ model

Proposal is to deal with other ways to improve how public law cases are dealt with as part of the court modernisation programme. As a result we can expect to see continuing expansion of the concept of the ‘problem solving court’ through extended use of such techniques as FDAC and PAUSE.

The following statement by the President of the Family Division, Sir Munby raises interesting questions about how children will be represented in future:

‘The MoJ, with my support, is investigating whether there is scope for a reformed level of representation for children in public law cases and how a reformed model might work in practice. From my perspective, the focus of this is the question of whether, at certain stages in the proceedings and at certain type of hearing, there could properly be scope for dispensing with the attendance of some, or even, in some circumstances, all, of the child’s professional team. But, I emphasise: so far as I am concerned, none of this can be allowed to prejudice the fundamentals of the tandem model’. 

The MoJ has been tasked with conducting a data-collecting exercise in 12 courts. A second phase, also involving the judiciary, will explore how a reformed model of representation could work in practice.

Read in full via Family Law (Jordan Publishing): 14th View from the President’s Chambers: Care cases: Settlement conferences and the ‘tandem’ model

Annexes via Family Law (Jordan Publishing):
Annexe 1 – Settlement Conferences: Guidance for parties May 2016
Annexe 2 – Settlement Conferences: Judicial Guidance May 2016
Annexe 3 – Letter dated 10 June 2016 from Dr Elizabeth Gibby, Deputy Director, MoJ, A2J Strategy and Specialist Policy, to the ‘pilot’ DFJs
Annexe 4 – Guidance to its members issued by the ALC on 1 July 2016 (as revised on 7 July 2016)

What do you think? Please post your comments and views. 

Our mission is to help bring about improvements in practice and policy. Holding children at the centre of what we do through our work with and for them, we aim to lead and promote excellent care and services. The partnership consists of an elected Chair and elected Regional Leads who represent their regions at a national level (two from each of the nine regions within England).

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