All of the contact centres in our area are supported contact centres and not supervised contact centres. Supported contact centres are staffed by volunteers. For many families these centres are a valuable resource, enabling children to meet with a parent in an environment that is child-friendly and safe. The volunteers who so generously give of their time are there to facilitate contact and not to supervise that contact, form judgments about the quality of the contact or make notes about what they have observed. The only circumstance in which it may be appropriate for a court to order a volunteer from a contact centre to attend court to give evidence is where that volunteer has witnessed a serious incident (e.g. an assault by one parent on the other) and her evidence is required as a witness of fact to enable the court to make findings in respect of that incident. It follows from this that is also wholly inappropriate to order a contact centre to disclose copies of its records, logs or other documents.Read More
Welcome to LLFJB.com and to my “Updates from the Bench”.
Many readers will already be familiar with the newsletters which I have produced on a monthly basis for local professionals over the course of the last year. I am delighted to say that I will now be able to use these posts to update practitioners quickly and regularly, in order that we may all keep up with the rapid pace of change which the family justice system is currently undergoing.
This means that I will be doing my “bit”, now it is time for you to do yours! The process of collaborative and co-operative progressive working which we hope to achieve through this website will only be achievable if we all pull together. I would be most grateful if all local practitioners – solicitors, barristers, mediators, social workers, Cafcass officers, court staff, judiciary and magistrates – try to make full use of the site, and also make any suggestions for content. I know that those tasked with maintaining and updating the website will be most grateful for any of your comments, and if you are aware of an upcoming event, news story of interest, schemes being implemented in different courts, a noteworthy case or even a pertinent piece of research or a publication, then please let us know by using the “Contact Us” page.
HHJ Clifford BellamyRead More