Monday, June 16, 2008

Out of Touch

Another senior family judge calling for reform in England & Wales is reported by the Times today. In a speech to mark the 25th anniversary of Family Law Service, which is provided by the legal publishers LexisNexis Butterworths, Mr Justice Ryder attacked the present system of family courts run by a “self-selecting great and good and a professional judiciary” as out of tune with society.

The family courts system needed to lay itself open to scrutiny which, he said, was necessary for the public's reassurance and satisfaction. “Our judgments should be given in public and anonymised where necessary,” he said.

He urged the creation of a new “family court diversion scheme” and the adoption of a continental-style model where local community tribunals act as a gateway for family justice and deal with cases at an early stage, outside the criminal or civil courts

Update 1/7/08: A transcription of the speech is now available here from the Judiciary of England and Wales website. Thanks to Current Awareness for the tip off.


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