Rt. Hon. Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division recently Key Note Address: “Crisis; What Crisis?”Association of Lawyers for Children Conference 2018 23 November 2018.
This conference is meeting at a time when an unprecedented number of applications are being made each month by local authorities for care or supervision orders in relation to children. The rise in numbers, which took place over the course of 2015 and 2016, and is of the order of 25% across England and Wales, has been sustained at this new high level. In 2016 my predecessor, Sir James Munby, rightly drew public attention to the inability of the court system to sustain the prompt and timely determination of these cases and, in doing so, he asked for help. Sir James said:
“We are facing a crisis and, truth be told, we have no very clear strategy for meeting the crisis.”