2 minutes reading time (405 words)

Expert panel to review child protection in domestic abuse cases

Ministers have announced a panel of experts will be providing recommendations on how the family courts can better protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences. The panel will consist of senior members of the judiciary, leading academics as well as charities.

A public call for evidence will also be seeking views from those who have been directly involved in similar situations to share their experiences.

The three-month project follows on from concerned responses about how the family courts deal with potential harm to children and victims. Ministers now want to review how existing safeguards in the court process are working in practice and how best to strengthen them.

Measures have already been taken to improve the current system. The draft Domestic Abuse Bill, which was published at the beginning of this year, bans abusers from cross-examining victims in family courts. In February 2019, £900,000 was awarded to organisations that provide emotional and practical support to domestic abuse victims throughout their time in the family court. Additionally, £8 million of funding was announced to support children who are affected by domestic abuse.

The Government has confirmed the review will focus on:

  • How the courts operate Practice Direction 12J (when domestic abuse is a factor in child arrangement cases)
  • Reviewing the courts’ use of ‘barring orders’ which prevent further applications being made without leave of the court under the Children Act 1989
  • Gathering data on the impact of the child and victim where child contact is sought by someone alleged to have, or has, committed domestic abuse or relevant offences
  • How the family courts handle serious crimes (such as rape and child abuse) to ensure protections are in place for victims and their children

Paul Maynard, Justice Minister, concluded:

“Some of the most vulnerable in our society come before the family courts, and I am absolutely determined that we offer them every protection.

“The review will help us better understand victims’ experiences of the system, and make sure the family court is never used to coerce or re-traumatise those who have been abused.”

Contact our Child Law Solicitors Guilford, Portsmouth & Reading

At Child Law Partnership, the welfare of the child is always paramount, and we will place your children at the centre of everything we do. If you are looking for specialist leading advice from professional child lawyers, get in touch with our team today via the online enquiry form.

Rising number of parents adopt children who had a ...
£84m investment for new projects to keep children ...

Get in touch

Please note our written enquiries are not monitored over the weekend however we do aim to respond as soon as we can. If your matter is urgent, we would ask you give us a call on 01256 449 260.
Please let us know your name.

Please let us know your email address.

Please let us know your subject.

Please let us know your message.

Invalid captcha

Our Family Lawyers

At CLP, you will find a solicitor that has your best interests at heart.

Guides

Click here for our client guides for more information on child law issues