Friday, December 23, 2005

England: London Family Court Delays

A campaign to speed up the listing of family cases involving divorce and vulnerable children at risk of serious harm has been launched by the Law Society.

A survey has found that such cases are commonly being delayed for up to six months. The Central London Family Court is worst affected, with some 70% of respondents saying that they have suffered delays there. The survey blames the hold-ups on insufficient ‘judge hours’ being allocated to family matters and on inadequate staff enrolment and training.

“The intention of the campaign is to bring the delay, and the reasons for it, to the notice of the government and senior judiciary,” says Society chief executive, Janet Paraskeva. “We will be pressing for more judges to undertake family work and for the recruitment of higher numbers of court staff.” Philip Waller, Senior District Judge at the Principle Registry, commented, “We acknowledge the problem and are striving to do everything we can with the limited resources that we have available.”