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What is Going On?

September 10, 2010

Anthony Douglas CEO of Cafcass has told the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee that the President’s Interim Guidance will probably be extended for another year permitting Cafcass to continue to use the much criticised duty guardian system.

Well, blow me down, it was only a month ago that the President himself, Sir Nicholas Wall, said he would not be extending it. He then told Family Law “Sadly, I cannot say that as much progress has been made on this [the Cafcass problem] as I would like. I have made it clear that I am not going to renew the interim guidance and I am considering closely the discontinuance of the ‘duty guardian’ scheme, which it seems, has not succeeded.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. willo permalink
    September 30, 2010 7:43 pm

    1 October 2010
    Joint message from Sir Nicholas Wall, President of the Family Division and
    Anthony Douglas, the Chief Executive of CAFCASS
    With this note, you will receive the Agreement which has been reached between us
    and the relevant government Departments and which replaces the Interim Guidance,
    which expires on 30 September 2010.
    We think the document speaks for itself, and we express a joint determination to make
    the family justice system work for the benefit of the disadvantaged children who are
    caught up in it.
    You will see that the thrust of the Agreement is that all involved in the system should
    work cooperatively to operate the Public Law Outline1 locally within an environment
    of increasing and complex workloads to make the most of our available resources.
    In deciding what directions should be made in relation to the work of the guardian, the
    court will usually hear from all parties and especially the representative of the child
    and will above all take into account that nothing in the Agreement fetters the
    responsibility of the children’s guardian independently to represent the interests of the
    child in accordance with the statute and court rules.
    We expect that the judges and magistrates who have to manage cases and make the
    decisions in relation to them will understand and respect the changing operational
    processes of Cafcass. In turn Cafcass recognises that it is the essence of judicial case
    management that judges and magistrates identify particular pieces of work which they
    wish the guardian to undertake and that if they regard it necessary from time to time
    to specify the manner in which such work is undertaken, they have the power to do so.
    Sir Nicholas Wall Anthony Douglas CBE
    The President of the Family Division Chief Executive, Cafcass
    & Head of Family Justice
    1 Practice Direction: Public Law Proceedings Guide to Case Management: April 2010

    • Brick permalink*
      October 1, 2010 10:00 am

      Thanks willo. I guess that makes everything crystal clear.


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