Working Group Reports Published
The Financial Remedies Working Group and the Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group yesterday published a report and interim report respectively. The groups were established following the need identified in the President’s 12th View from the President’s Chambers to reform both areas.
The President is welcoming responses to the reports and the proposals contained therein. Practitioners ought to read the reports in full and consider the proposals in any event: proposed changes are likely to take effect towards the end of 2014 and in early 2015.
The Financial Remedies Working Group Report can be found here. Among other recommendations is the suggestion for a single, unified procedure for all financial applications. The current three-stage system (FDA, FDR, Final Hearing) is recognised as working well and is to be promoted, as are other methods of dispute resolution. Similarly to the report of the Private Law Working Group – which led to the implementation of the Child Arrangements Programme – the Group identify the need to establish a system which can accommodate an increased number of litigants in person. The recommendations include signposting for LiPs, simplification of language, additional judicial training and standardisation of court orders.
The Children and Vulnerable Witnesses Working Group Interim Report can be found here or downloaded to read here. The initial proposals recommend the establishment of a new part to the Family Procedure Rules – supported by a Practice Direction – specifically to cover the needs of children as participants in the proceedings, and to ensure that children and vulnerable witnesses are supported through the process of giving evidence.