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Family Division President urges advocates to "Make Every Hearing Count"
Ref: 455

Date: Sat 12 Mar 2022 01:30

The President of the Family Division has issued a new guidance note (March 2022) on the subject: "Make Every Hearing Count". THe importance of this topic is underscored by some worrying statistics quoted in the opening paragraphs of the note:
"Currently, the national average for the number of hearings per public law case is 6.2. In the year 2019/20 this figure was 5.8 per case. In 2016/17, it was 5.2 per case. The average length of a public law case in quarter 3 of 2021 was 45 weeks, in 2020 it was 38.5 weeks in 2017 it was 28.2 weeks . If a region has some 3,000 public law cases per year, even an increase of 0.5 hearings per case means that the system has to list an additional 1,500 hearings to complete these cases."

Those figures for case duration need to be viewed against the statutory requirement for a public law application to be concluded within 26 weeks [CA 1989, s 32(1)].

In the context of those troubling figures, the President's guidance is essential reading for all Family law advocates. Click here to read the full note, and do get in touch to let us know what your experience has been with protracted cases.
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