Ministry of Justice Research On Litigants in Person

Researching Reform

It seems el Ministry has been rather busy researching over the last few months and this is the latest offering for the family sector.

The research, which looks at Litigants in Person in private family law cases was commissioned to gather more data on LIPs, including their behavioural drivers, experiences and support needs. This research was carried out prior to the legal aid reforms taking effect.

Running to over 200 pages this is a thorough report, which we have not yet had time to read, but you know how excited we get when things come in and we want to share them with you straight away, so we’ll comment on the contents a little later once we’ve got our digestives and tea at the ready.


View original post


Ministry of Justice To Publish Analysis on Length of Hearings in Family Cases

Researching Reform

Post the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), the government has noticed a changing pattern in the way legal representation is working, or not as the case may be (horrible pun intended), and now the government wants to find out exactly how this is affecting the length and number of hearings.

The Notice itself tells us that a statistical bulletin will be published on 27th November (tomorrow), and will showcase exploratory analyses into the impact of an increased number of parties in private law cases where there has been no legal representation. It will look at the number of hearings in this context, and the duration of those hearings.

The research will also be used to test the quality and availability of centrally held data on hearing length in private family law cases.

We wonder whether we have misunderstood the remit of this data, but to focus solely on…

View original post 69 more words


Hot Off The Press & Controversial: The First Stats on Family Courts And Hearing Duration

Researching Reform

The experimental data the Ministry of Justice has just published this morning reveals a startling revelation about the impact of unrepresented parties in private family law cases (those dealing with divorce, contact and child maintenance in the main).

Despite everything we have heard post LASPO, it appears that unrepresented parties are not the ones causing delays in the family courts. In fact, the data suggests that lawyers are responsible for a small but sustained increase each quarter in hearing duration.

The overall result from the initial findings is that there is no strong evidence to suggest that Litigants in Person are responsible for increased court time, or even that the increase that is visible represents a significant change over time.

The main findings are added below:

  • No change in overall average (mean) hearing durations. There is
    some evidence that hearings where both parties are represented
    have increased in duration whilst…

View original post 218 more words


MPs To Debate Progress Of Historic Child Sex Abuse Inquiry

Researching Reform

Although Parliament’s website doesn’t give an exact time as to when this debate will take place today, it is likely to start at around 3pm, after the debate on inequality, and as the title suggests will look to see what progress the independent panel inquiry has made so far.

At the moment, the Inquiry does not have a Chair, and its scope and membership have been continuously challenged by the public and survivors of abuse, so it will be interesting to see what the government has to say about these things, this afternoon.

You can catch the session live over at Parliament TV, and you’ll be able to access the transcript in the Hansard three hours after the meeting takes place (which we think is very nifty).

View original post


Question It!

Researching Reform

Welcome to the week and our question, which is a little different to the kind we normally ask…

Researching Reform’s site has been scribbled on by us, and you, for the last four years and whilst we have tried to inform, share and highlight all the latest family policy and legislation developments through articles, questions, debates, stories, case studies and more, we feel we should now ask what you want more, and less of.

Our question this week then is just this: what would you like us to write about and how?

Would you like more opinion pieces or more news? Do you prefer audio, video or just good old text? Or is there something else you’d like that we’re currently not doing? We’d love to know what you think, so please come on over and tell us!


View original post


Photos and Audio for Our Event on Child Abuse Within a Faith Context

Researching Reform

On Tuesday 18th November, we helped to organise and chair a debate in the House of Commons on child abuse and its existence within different religious settings, including the Catholic Church, the Church of England, Judaism and Islam.

The debate lasted for two and a half hours and when we asked the audience if they wanted a short break at the half way point, they unanimously declined. It was a very thought-provoking evening, filled with peaceful questions and an audience who graciously sat through seven panel speeches and launched themselves into the discussion with many and varied views, all fascinating.

We can now share some photos of the event with you, as well as the audio of the panel delivering their speeches. We hope very much that more media will be made available in the next few days, but in the meantime come and relive the debate with…

View original post 1 more word


Who you gonna call? Myth-busters


There’s been quite a lot of publicity about Martin Narey’s Myth-Busting document on adoption, following the recent adoption statistics taking a hit – something that any one who had been reading the case law in the last 18 months had seen coming a country mile away.

Apparently that’s all just a misunderstanding by dopey Local Authority social workers and lawyers, and it is all our fault.   The Court of Appeal overturning case after case last summer had nothing to do with it.
[Tim Loughton, the former Children’s Minister instead says that the problems are due to Judges sulking about legal aid cuts and slowing things down deliberately. At least, according to the Telegraph he said that. ]

Click to access ALB%20-%20Impact%20of%20Court%20Judgments%20on%20Adoption%20-%20November%202014.pdf

The national Adoption Leadership Board, Family Justice Board, and the Department for Education have heard regularly that these changes are a response to a number of high profile…

View original post 2,172 more words