clifford_bellamy_colour_300x300It is my privilege to be the Designated Family Judge for Leicester. I was appointed in August 2012 for a four year term, having previously served as Designated Family Judge for Warwickshire and Coventry for almost six years. I am delighted to be in Leicester and extremely grateful for the support I have received since I arrived from those working in the family justice system locally.

It is a challenging time to be a Designated Family Judge. Since the Family Justice Review published its final report in November 2011 the process of modernising the family court has proceeded at great pace.  The Family Justice Modernisation report can be read here.  It is an important part of my work as Designated Family Judge to oversee the implementation of the reforms locally.

At the heart of the modernisation programme has been the creation of a single Family Court. The Family Court came into being on 22nd April 2014. The Family Court deals with a very wide range of family cases including divorce, financial remedies following divorce, domestic violence, family disputes concerning children, applications by local authorities for care or supervision orders and adoption.

A diagram of the structure of the Family Court in Leicester and the levels of the Judiciary can be found here.

The programme of modernisation of family justice is an ongoing programme of reform. Since April 2013 the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has been raising awareness of the reforms by publishing a monthly newsletter – the View from the President’s Chambers. The President’s Views can be found on his page.

In May 2013 I committed myself to write a monthly newsletter for 12 months in order to raise awareness of the reforms and of their implementation locally. All my newsletters can be found in the Judge’s Library.

This website will take over from the newsletter and will deliver in more depth the kind of information I have been trying to provide in the newsletter. It will, I hope, prove to be an invaluable hub of information relating to the family justice system, providing links to relevant local agencies and services (including those in the voluntary sector) enabling people to navigate their way through the family justice system locally. I hope that it will also help to build confidence in the work that goes on in the Family Court at Leicester.

I hope that it is of interest to local practitioners to keep abreast of noteworthy local reported cases.  A comprehensive list of the Leicester cases which have been reported since my time as DFJ – together with links to the case reports – can be found here: Reported Leicester Cases.

Designated Family Judge - Role Description