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Care Proceedings

09 Apr 2008, 11:22 by Rebecca Fitton-Brown

Labels: care, child, family, legal-profession

  The Public Law Outline has come into effect for care proceedings issued from the 1st of April 2008. It replaces the Protocol for Judicial Case Management. The aim is to reduce delay in care proceedings by improving case management and identifying the issues as early as possible and also by improving communication and therefore, it is hoped, co-operation between the parties.

  Some of the new documents such as the Timetable for the Child (including care, health and education steps as well as legal steps) and the Case Management Record (improved filing system for the court) may be applied to pre-April care proceedings if considered appropriate.

 The present six stages have been replaced by four stages.

  Pre-application work is more extensive including a Letter Before Proceedings, early preparation of a Schedule of Proposed Findings, and filing of Supplementary Form PLO1 (containing a pre-proceedings checklist and record of case management documents filed) with the application.

 Cases are to be actively case-managed by one or two case management judges who will be appointed for each care case.

 "Early Final Hearing cases" are to be identified at the first hearing.

 Alternative dispute resolution is to be encouraged by the court wherever possible.

 Written by Rebecca Fitton-Brown, Barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in Family Law.

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