So what do we want in family law from new President, Sir Andrew McFarlane?
30 July 2018
The Law Society Gazette
I was interviewed by Grania Langdon-Down for the Law Society Gazette.
As a family arbitrator, I said that would like to see the new President building on the support Munby P gave to family arbitration. Under the Family Procedure Rules rule 3.3 (1) the court must consider, at every stage in proceedings, whether non-court dispute resolution is appropriate. In my experience, this is more honoured in the breach than the observance by the courts. If the court considers that non-court dispute resolution is appropriate, it may direct that the proceedings be adjourned to facilitate that. I would like McFarlane P to encourage judges to be much more pro-active under this rule, particularly with the delay our clients meet in the court system.
In his speech in June to the Families Need Fathers Conference 2018 MacFarlane P referred to the lobby to better enforce child arrangements orders. He has said that he will maintain contact with interested groups such as FNF. I suspect we may see some developments here.
Ms Langdon-Down quoted me in her article, see above link, "Family lawyer and arbitrator Tony Roe says the rules are more likely to be breached than observed, and McFarlane should encourage judges to be much more proactive".