The President of the Family Division issued a statement this week on the progress of the “single family court”, which, once the Crime and Courts Bill has progressed through Parliament, is likely to be established this time next year. The Family Court will include judges from every tier of the judiciary sitting under one roof: High Court Judges, Circuit Judges, District Judges and Magistrates; and have unified systems of administration and listing. For more information,  “The Single Family Court: A Joint Statement by the President of the Family Division and the HMCTS Family Business Authority” can be viewed here.

Sir James Munby also stated that although there is likely to be a “rebalancing” of the volumes of public and private law work done by different Family Proceedings Courts, there is no agenda that Magistrates will concentrate only on private law cases. His final remark was that family courts should not be seen to be a system of secret and unaccountable justice, and that announcements will follow regarding access to and reporting in the new Family Court.