Turning Back The Clock on Court Delays (New Law Journal)

11 September 2023

New Law Journal have published an article by Head of Family, Natasha Grande, on the increasing delays in private children work within the family courts.

The Law Society has expressed concern over the rising delays in private children cases within family courts. These delays, which have seen an average case length increase to 47 weeks, are causing significant distress and uncertainty for the children involved. Communication difficulties with the court and a lack of detailed applications are exacerbating the issue. Interestingly, there has been a 5% increase in financial remedy cases, while domestic violence remedy cases and private law cases remained stable. The removal of legal aid in 2013 has resulted in less representation in court, contributing to the delays. Predictions from the Ministry of Justice suggest it will take three years to return to pre-pandemic levels, highlighting the need for active resistance against such delays becoming normalized in practice.

Natasha writes: "Family practitioners must take action to address court delays and their impact on clients. Conducting early evaluations to determine the most suitable process for their clients (such as mediation, arbitration, or dispute resolution) is essential.

Subject to any paywall restrictions, you can access the full article here.

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