The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory is conducting a consultation on remote and hybrid hearings on behalf of the President of the Family Division.
The study aims to generate a system-wide understanding of how family justice has been shaped by Covid-19 and follows a rapid consultation on remote hearings conduced earlier this year.
Resolution is encouraging members to take part in the consultation which will run until 30 September with a report expected in mid-October.
In addition, the survey contains a separate section to specifically hear from parents who have had experience of remote hearings. Resolution’s Litigants in Person Committee has helpfully drafted a template email (see below) which can be sent to parents whom you may know to have participated in a remote hearing recently.
As you are aware, since March 2020, as a resulting on the ongoing global health crisis, the majority of hearings, including our hearing in [MONTH] have taken place remotely. It is now clear that this is likely to continue for many months to come.
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has recently announced a survey on remote and hybrid hearings. He is keen to hear from all who have had experience of remote hearings: not just solicitors and barristers, but those representing themselves at those hearings as well. We have, therefore, specifically been asked to forward details of the consultation to any parties who are involved in our cases who have acted in person at remote hearings, of which you are one, in case they wish to share their experience with the researchers.
There is of course no obligation on you to respond to the survey (and please rest assured that the responses are anonymous and I will have no access to your replies if you choose to take part).
If you do wish to contribute then:
- details of the consultation can be found at https://www.nuffieldfjo.org.uk/news/new-consultation-remote-hearings and
- a link to the survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/HD8PT9T
[Finally, in case it is of use for future hearings I attach a link to some guidance prepared by Resolution, the national network of family lawyers of which I am a member, about remote hearings. That guidance can be found here]