Sir Andrew McFarlane has taken up his position as President of the Family Division, following the retirement of his predecessor, Sir James Munby.
Sir Andrew, who recently won an ‘outstanding achievement’ award at the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year awards, has a particular interest in children matters, including the ‘private law programme’, which was introduced with the aim of improving the way in which private law disputes over arrangements for children are dealt with. He recently told the Families Need Fathers Conference (‘FNF’) that:
“In the Autumn I will embark upon a series of visits during which it is my aim to meet every fulltime Family judge at each of the 40 or so designated Family Court centres, together with the local magistrates, local CAFCASS officers and members of the legal profession. In addition, I will develop and maintain contact with interested groups, such as FNF and Women’s Aid, in order to gain a very, very, detailed understanding of the operation of the private law programme as it is experienced case by case, family by family, judge by judge on the ground. Once that process is over, possibly by the time of your conference next year, I will be in a much better position to understand what goes well and, no doubt, what does not and what may need to be changed.”
It will be very interesting to hear his findings.
Family Law Cafe says: Sir Andrew is taking over the mantle of President at a very difficult and challenging time. He is facing many problems, including difficulties with access to justice, lack of resources and rapid change. We hope he has the energy and support to meet these challenges, and wish him every success.
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Image of Sir Andrew McFarlane reproduced from the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website, Crown copyright, licensed under the Open Government Licence.