We’re delighted to announce a new series of Family Law focused episodes for our podcast Law Pod UK. Clare Ciborowska and Richard Ager join Rosalind English in the first of a series of discussions with our family law team highlighting developments and analysing case law from the family courts.
In the first Episode 144, they focus on the challenges presented to family court judges by the obligation to conduct full fact finding hearings where allegations of domestic abuse are raised. The details of this duty are to be found in Practice Direction 12J FPR2010, but the difficulties have yet to be played out in practice. There are problems with the overlap between criminal and family law, with the lack of legal aid for defendants, and, above all, the difficulties faced by judges tasked with the business of trying to run an in inquisitorial hearing whilst being as supportive as possible to litigants in person.
Clare and Richard talk about the various issues arising out of the practice direction and the case law that preceded and followed PDJ12. Here, as promised, are the citations and references touched upon in the podcast:
- Practice Direction 12J Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm
- The Children Act 1989
- H-N and others (Children) (domestic abuse: fact finding)  EWCA Civ 448 (4 conjoined appeals, 30 March 2021) (President of the Family Division)
- F v M 15  EWFC 4 15 January 2021
- The Harm Panel Report: Assessing Risk of harm to Children and Parents in Private Law Children Cases
- The Domestic Abuse Bill 2020 , now the Domestic Abuse Bill 2021 (yet to be brought into force)
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