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The Law Society has urged the President of the Family Division to issue ‘best practice’ and ‘top tips’ rather than full prescriptive guidance on remote hearings.

In a letter sent to Sir Andrew McFarlane earlier this month (12 May), Penny Scott and Jerry Bull, Chairs of the Law Society Family Law Committee and the Children Law Subcommittee, said: “Fundamentally, the family justice system must continue to function and serve all parties in the most consistent way. It may seem that guidance is the best way to achieve this, but there are aspects of providing guidance that may not lead to desirable outcomes.

“Moreover, it seems valid to conclude that we will be embedded in remote hearings for the foreseeable future; even where the family courts gradually begin to reopen, remote hearings are very likely to remain the norm for the majority of hearings. It is therefore likely that any guidance could quickly become out-of-date and perhaps be applied to the detriment of the parties, potentially undermining justice. Therefore, we do not consider blanket guidance issued by the President to be the best outcome.”

The letter, a copy of which is available here, said that “as with any difficult and nascent circumstances, lessons are being learned as we go along”.

Read the full article here: Local Government Lawyer

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