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Family Courts

Volume 449: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs on how many occasions during 2005-06 parents involved in cases in the Family Court were informed of a delay to the reports required by the court. (86963)

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Constitutional Affairs (1) what recent discussions she has had with the judiciary about the openness of family courts; (84554)

(2) when she last met the President of the Family Division.

Since being appointed as Minister for Family Justice, I have discussed openness of the family courts with a wide range of stakeholders. Members of the judiciary included:

Sir Mark Potter, President, and Lord Justice Thorpe;

Mr. Justice Ryder;

Mrs. Justice Black and Mr. Justice McFarlane;

District Judge (Magistrates Courts) Crichton; and

Margaret Wilson JP.

I have also visited Wells Street and Croydon family proceedings courts where I met a number of magistrates; and I have spoken at the President's Conference, which was attended by 97 members of the judiciary, and to the Greater London Family Panel, which was attended by 90 members of the judiciary.

I last met the President of the Family Division on 3 July 2006.