Family court president recommends independent domestic violence advocates to protect victims of abuse

For real 🤔🦋 Xx

Researching Reform

Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division, has endorsed the use of independent domestic violence advocates (IDVAs) for family court cases in his latest speech.

The speech, prepared for the Jersey International Family Law Conference 2021, was made on October 8th, and outlines several recommendations which place children at the centre of divorce and domestic violence (DV) proceedings.

During the speech he also reiterated that individuals would not be allowed to offer expert evidence in the family courts unless they could demonstrate their professional experience was based on “an established body of knowledge” and not pseudo-science. McFarlane also noted that experts would have to be impartial and independent.

The recommendations he made for improving the handling of domestic abuse abuses cases included:

  • Instructing an expert whenever an allegation of parental alienation is made by a parent in DV cases.
  • The involvement of Independent Domestic Violence Advisers [‘IDVA’].
  • The implementation…

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