Family Justice Council
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The Family Justice Council, established in 2004, is an advisory, non-statutory, non-departmental public body sponsored by the Judicial Office. It provides independent expert advice, from an inter-disciplinary perspective, on the operation and reform of the family justice system in England and Wales to the Family Justice Board (the Board) and Government. It is chaired by the President of the Family Division, and in August 2012, became part of the President's office. Its membership is drawn from a number of professions and agencies detailed below.
Terms of Reference
1. The Family Justice Council will operate independently of the Board but will, as a critical friend to the Board, provide it with expert advice, from an inter-disciplinary perspective, on the operation and reform of the family justice system in England and Wales.
2. Its objectives are, in alignment with the priorities established by the Board, to:
a) Provide independent expert advice, from an inter-disciplinary perspective, to the judiciary, the Board and Government on key family justice system issues referred to it either by the judiciary or by the Board;
b) Highlight key cross-system issues for the Board to consider;
c) Fulfil a 'critical friend' role in advising how the Board can deliver its priorities and implement its action plan for system-wide improvement;
d) Support the Board in devising and disseminating best practice guidance;
e) Keep informed of current research and advise the Board and Government on research to be commissioned;
f) Work with the Board and Government researchers to inform judges, lawyers, social workers and other professionals of the findings of the latest socio-legal and medico-legal research;
g) Make recommendations to the President of the Family Divisioin on the need for new, or revised, Practice Directions and guidance for use in family proceedings; and
h) Advise the Board on appropriate training and guidance for use by professionals and Local Family Justice Boards.
Sir Nicholas Wall (ex officio)- Chair,President of the Family Division; Lord Justice Mathew Thorpe- Deputy Chair, Head of International Family Justice; Mrs Justice Parker- High Court Judge; HHJ Katharine Marshall- Circuit Judge; Rachel Karp - District Judge; Nicholas Crichton CBE- District Judge (Magistrates' Courts); Martyn Cook- Magistrate; Mark Andrews- Justices' Clerk; Alison Russell QC- Senior Barrister; Malek Wan Daud- Junior Barrister; Caroline Little- Public Law Solicitor; Vacant position- Private Law Solicitor; Dr. Elizabeth Gillett- Child Mental Health Specialist; Dr. Heather Payne- Consultant Paediatrician; Vacant position - Assistant Director of Children's Services; Professor Anne Barlow - Academic; Beverley Sayers - Family Mediator; Bridget Lindley -NGO representing interests of parents; Sue Berelowitz- Deputy Children's Commissioner for England; Keith Towler -(ex officio)Children’s Commissioner for Wales;
Officials in attendance:
Nick Goodwin - Ministry of Justice; Paul Harris - HMCTS; Annabel Burns - Department for Education; Bruce Clark / Fiona Green - Cafcass; Julie Rogers - Welsh Government; Gillian Baranski - Cafcass CYMRU;
- "Family Justice Council". Retrieved 31 August 2013.
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