Reform of family justice

Our latest policy and campaign briefings on the family justice system and our response to consultations by Government and other agencies.

We describe the reforms that we believe are necessary  and draw upon findings set out in our research publications.

  • Family Rights Group's briefing on How important is the Human Rights Act for vulnerable children and families? 22 October 2014
  • Family Rights Group has long been arguing for a pre-proceedings protocol to address the current variation in practice in how families are engaged before proceedings start. This has become increasingly important in view of the new 26 week timetable in care proceedings which reduces the time for considering family options once care proceedings have started and recent case law which restates the principle that potentially suitable family options for the child must be explored and ruled out before a child can be p4ermanently separated from their parent.

We have therefore been working with a wide range of organisations and individuals to respond to the government’s recent consultation on Court Orders which includes statutory guidance on pre proceedings practice in public law cases.

Read our response and links to documents:

Engaging families early: time for a national protocol?’ Article by Bridget Lindley, Deputy Chief Executive and Principal Legal Adviser, Family Rights Group in November Family Law © Jordan Publishing Ltd, London (2013)
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, Head of the Family Justice System, in his recent view piece (October 2013) referring to this "important article" stated Bridget and "FRG are to be thanked for raising this important issue. Their proposals and ideas merit the most careful attention."

Family Rights Group’s response to the Ministry of Justice consultation ‘Transforming Legal Aid’ making clear the reasons for our opposition to the proposals, June 2013

Our submission on the government’s proposals for co-operative parenting following family separation, August 2012

Our submission to the APPG on child protection's inquiry into family justice reforms, August 2012

Our response to the Commission on a Bill of Rights Discussion Paper ‘Do we need a UK Bill of Rights?’, November 2011

Our response makes clear that the Human Rights Act has made a profound difference to families involved in the family justice system in England and Wales.

It gives examples of how the Act has been relied upon in child welfare and legal proceedings to ensure fair process and to prevent unnecessary interference or an abuse of power by the state into the family life of vulnerable children and families. Our response illustrates how crucial it is for children and families that the Human Rights Act is retained.

Our response to the Family Justice Review’s final report, November 2011

Our response to the Family Justice Review interim report on the reform of the family justice system, June 2011

Our submission to the Ministry of Justice review of legal aid, February 2011

Our submission to the Family Justice Review on the reform of the family justice system, 2010

Our response to Government Consultation on Joint birth registration: recording responsibility, January 2010

Our report on the impact of the public law outline (the court protocol for managing care order applications) on family group conference services in England and Wales - summary and full report

Drawn up by Family Rights Group in association with the University of Birmingham, funded by the Family Justice Council, November 2009