The Family Justice Review has today been published. Its findings include a conclusion that the family justice system currently moves too slowly and should provide a better service to the adults and children who need to use it every year.
Whilst we agree that family cases currently can take far longer than they should to be resolved, it is difficult to see how this will fit with the Government’s plans to cut legal aid in family cases leaving people to represent themselves. The bill relating to this has just been passes through the House of Commons and therefore unless substantial changes can be made in the House of Lords thousands of people per year will be left unable to afford representation by a solicitor. As we have said before this is likely to lead to a rise in litigants in person which in turn is very likely to slow down family justice as the court system struggles to cope.
Whilst we recognise that changes need to be made it does not seem that these two issues have been considered together and perhaps if they had we would have the opportunity of coming up with a far more user friendly and efficient family justice system which most importantly would be open to all.