Weekly Notes: legal news from ICLR — 13 May 2019

Politics

Courts

We have therefore made a strong commitment within our estates principles that, in considering any future proposals for rationalising the estate, the ability to access justice by means of travelling to a physical court or tribunal building will continue to be expressly taken into account in assessing and making the case for estate change.

as people use remote access to the courts through digital services, video hearings and online applications, we expect that we will need less physical courtroom space as a result.

provides the standards for refurbishment and redevelopment of existing and future court and tribunal buildings and facilities within our estate. It enables optimum use of facilities to improve user experience. Along with the key elements of safety and security, it sets out five principles that must be incorporated into any building design. These principles define that court and tribunal buildings must be appropriate, effective, accessible, flexible and sustainable.

Civil servants kill the things we need

By each let this be heard,

Some do it with a bitter look,

Some without a word,

As with a sad and broken lift,

Whose cry “Repair me” goes unheard.

The broken lift, however, is indicative, however, of a much deeper issue. Millions (if not billions) are being spent on “court reform” but the most fundamental task of ensuring that the vulnerable can get into court does not appear to be a priority.

Judiciary

Family law

“It is right to ask the question, at this 30-year anniversary, whether this pivotal reform has proved fit for purpose. The answer to that question is, in my view, an almost unqualified ‘yes’.”

Whilst there seems to be no legal basis to question the Family Court’s jurisdiction to approve ad hoc placements that restrict a young person’s liberty as I have described, I do have a profound unease over the court frequently being asked to approve the accommodation of children when it, the court, has no means of checking or auditing the suitability of the facility that is to be used.

Local government

“For the first time ever, councils across the country will be legally required to provide vital life-saving support in secure accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse and their children — ensuring need in their local area is met.”

Legal professions

Dates and Deadlines

And finally…

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