Consultation over Management of Family Cases

31 May 2018 Written by Family Law Caithness Category: News

The Scottish Civil Justice Council has launched a consultation exercise over possible reforms to the case management of family and civil partnership actions in the sheriff court. 

The Council’s Family Law Committee is considering ways to improve how family actions are dealt with in the sheriff court, particularly in order to prevent undue delay in proceedings relating to the welfare of children.

Having commissioned research into the effectiveness of Chapter 33AA of the Ordinary Cause Rules 1993 and considered a policy paper on case management by the Scottish Government, the Committee established a sub-committee in May 2017 to consider changes to court rules.

The sub-committee made a number of recommendations, including:

  • a new case management structure for all family and civil partnership actions in the sheriff court, not just those with a crave for an order under section 11 of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995;
  • allocating actions to a “fast track” or “proof track” procedure, as appropriate;
  • greater judicial control over the sisting (i.e. ‘pausing’ or staying) of family and civil partnership actions;
  • the adoption of abbreviated pleadings and more detailed witness lists;
  • judicial continuity insofar as possible;
  • provision allowing all family and civil partnership actions to be referred to mediation; and
  • greater judicial control over the use of expert witnesses.

At the end of the consultation, which will run until 22nd August 2018, non-confidential responses will be published on the Council’s website. After responses have been analysed and considered by the Council, a final report on the consultation will be published on the website.

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Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

 

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