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Remote hearings for family courts - opinion piece

View profile for Andrew Robinson
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After reading in the BBC News 'Remote hearings for family courts 'horribly cruel' we've got in touch with our Family Law expert and found out what he thinks.

Andy described:

The difficulties in family law cases concerning children

I think it is exceptionally difficult to explore the myriad issues that arise in cases concerning children without all parties being present in the court precincts and at the hearing itself. The remote hearings are inevitably more limited and superficial. Indeed, the same is true of cases involving financial negotiations.

There are also real concerns about how they can possibly operate fairly when the relationship is abusive or the separation acrimonious if both parties remain in the same household.

Having said all that, I think the Family court has been dealt an extremely difficult hand at a time when the system is stretched and underfunded already and the Judges and court staff are doing their best to adapt to circumstances that are pretty much impossible.

'From 23 March - when lockdown began - to 6 April, audio hearings across all courts and tribunals in England and Wales increased by more than 500%, and video hearings by 340%, the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory said.'

Let us know your thoughts on remote hearings for family courts and whether they work or not at

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