Family Justice Council

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

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.[1] 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;


  1. ^ "Family Justice Council". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 

External links[edit]