It’s good to see that the Nuffield Foundation are continuing with their research into how the family courts are working in this remote era.
The move to telephone and video hearings has not been seamless, but has been better than many of us feared and certainly much more satisfactory than having no hearings at all. It’s important that the effectiveness of these facilities are constantly reviewed so that improvements can continuously be made, so we should all (as lawyers and family court users) take some time to feedback and participate in the new survey.
There is also a specific invitation to parents who have been ‘in the system’ over recent months to contribute, so let’s all pass on the link to our clients. Remember: “there is no failure; only feedback” !
It is now clear that, while some physical court hearings are taking place, social distancing will continue to apply and many hearings will still take place over video or by phone for many months to come. The system is still adjusting to these changes while facing the challenge of the backlog of cases. As a result, we are carrying out a second, follow-up survey of how the system is working.