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“The horse DEFINITELY goes at the BACK of the cart”

Without further comment, the important part of the speech that the President gave on the process of reform  [the whole speech is good, actually, and is short]



26 weeks

A comparatively small number of exceptional cases apart, we can and must meet the 26 week limit. We can, because various pilots and initiatives are not merely showing us that it can be done but, even more important, showing us how it can be done. We must, because if we do not, government and society will finally lose patience with us. I believe it can be done and I am determined to do everything in my power to make sure that it is. My message is clear and uncompromising: this deadline can be met, it must be met, it will be met. And remember, 26 weeks is a deadline, not a target; it is a maximum, not an average or a mean. So many cases will need to be finished in less than 26 weeks


[Okay, I lied about no further comment – three cheeky bits. One, this is the umpteenth hint I have seen dropped about it being likely that the Government will take the whole family justice system away from judges and lawyers if we don’t hit 26 week deadlines.  And two – the Children and Families Bill hits committee stage today, which is the first time that any of it has been looked at in any detail at all. It isn’t law yet.

 And finally of course, the President can introduce, if he wishes, a Practice Direction saying that the PLO timescale is to be slid down from 40 weeks to 26 weeks, and then it will be LAW that is to be followed, rather than nod and a wink POLICY]

About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

One response

  1. Jerry Lonsdale

    I have always had serious reservations about the 26 wk limit, for straight forward cases with very little need for umpteen witnesses and reports will be possible to be met within the 26 wk timeframe.

    What would happen if there is an issue where there needs to be an appeal made, in my experience appeals can take up to and over 4 months to reach a conclusion, notably the time it takes obtaining orders, transcripts and the likes, all of these single issues would have to be addressed also,

    I find it more worrying in that the pressures put on the Local Authorities to reach the time frames the social workers with say 15 cases would almost certainly spend their entire time in court

    I do not think there has been any reflection of the constant increase of care applications being submitted to court, there is a danger here that the volume will not possibly allow the cases to conclude in that time frame, more so I can see many serious mistakes happening when pressured to conclude these cases in such a short space of time.

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