What can be done to level up the delivery of family justice?

16 June 2022

Founder and Managing Director, Edward Cooke, has recently written on the subject of what can be done to level up the delivery of family justice, for both The Law Society Gazette and The Times.  

Both pieces explore the reasons increasing numbers of people are turning to private judges or arbitrators to help resolve disputes, through private financial dispute resolution hearings (FDRs) and arbitration. The advantages of this approach for separating couples are discussed, as well as concerns that the judicial recruitment crisis and court delays are contributing to a two-tier system.  

Acknowledging the high rates of success of private arbitration, and the benefits of the speed at which this route can resolve disputes - in weeks rather than in 12 months or more – Edward also comments on a worsening crisis in the wider justice system. 
Some of the worst delays the system has experienced leave those families who are unable to afford private arbitration facing ever-increasing timeframes to juggle, with the average length of cases in private law children cases from start date to final order growing from 28 to 42 weeks during the pandemic.

Challenges in recruiting sufficient district judges also add to the root cause of the issue, with approximately 50% of district judge roles on the southeast circuit including London remaining vacant. 

In his piece for The Law Society Gazette, Edward also identifies some possible solutions to help alleviate the crisis in the family justice system and “level up” family justice provision.

Read the full article in The Times here

Read the full article in The Law Society Gazette here