PRACTICE DIRECTION 14E – COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION RELATING TO PROCEEDINGS

PRACTICE DIRECTION 14E – COMMUNICATION OF INFORMATION RELATING TO PROCEEDINGSThis Practice Direction supplements Part 14, rule 14.14(b) of the Family Procedure Rules 2010

Contents of this Practice Direction
Title Number
Communication of information relating to proceedings Para. 1.1

Communication of information relating to proceedings

1.1

Rule 14.14 deals with the communication of information (whether or not it is recorded in any form)relating to proceedings.

1.2

Subject to any direction of the court, information may be communicated for the purposes of the law relating to contempt in accordance with paragraphs 1.3 or 1.4.

1.3

A person specified in the first column of the following table may communicate to a person listed in the second column such information as is specified in the third column for the purpose or purposes specified in the fourth column.

Communicated byTo
Information
Purpose
A party
A lay adviser or a McKenzie Friend
Any information relating to the proceedings
To enable the party to obtain advice or assistance in relation to the proceedings.
A party
The party's spouse, civil partner, cohabitant or close family member

For the purpose of confidential discussions enabling the party to receive support from his spouse, civil partner, cohabitant or close family member.
A party
A health care professional or a person or body providing counselling services for children or families

To enable the party or any child of the party to obtain health care or counselling.
A party
The Secretary of State, a McKenzie Friend, a lay adviser or an appeal tribunal dealing with an appeal made under section 20 of the  Child Support Act 1991


For the purposes of making or responding to an appeal under section 20 of the Child Support Act 1991 or the determination of such an appeal.
A party or other person lawfully in receipt of informationThe Secretary of State, a McKenzie Friend, a lay adviser or the Upper Tier Tribunal dealing with an appeal under section 24 of the Child Support Act 1991 in respect of a decision of the First tier Tribunal that was made under section 20 of that Act For a purpose connected with an appeal under section 24 of the Child Support Act 1991 in respect of a decision of the First-tier Tribunal that was made under section 20 of that Act
A party
An adoption panel

To enable the adoption panel to discharge its functions as appropriate.
A party
A local authority's medical adviser appointed under the Adoption Agencies Regulations 2005 or the Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2005

To enable the medical adviser to discharge his or her functions as appropriate
A party or any person lawfully in receipt of information
The Children's Commissioner or the Children's Commissioner for Wales

To refer an issue affecting the interests of children to the Children's Commissioner or the Children's Commissioner for Wales.
A party or a legal representative
A mediator

For the purpose of mediation in relation to the proceedings.
A party, any person lawfully in receipt of information or a proper officer
A person or body conducting an approved research project

For the purpose of an approved research project.
A party, a legal representative or a professional legal adviser

A person or body responsible for investigating or determining complaints in relation to legal representatives or professional legal advisers


For the purposes of making a complaint or the investigation or determination of a complaint in relation to a legal representative or a professional legal adviser.
A legal representative or a professional legal adviser   
A professional indemnity insurer
 To enable the professional indemnity insurer to be notified of a claim or complaint, or potential claim or complaint, in relation to the legal representative or a professional legal adviser, and the legal representative or professional legal adviser to obtain advice in respect of that claim or complaint
A legal representative or a professional legal adviser
A person or body assessing quality assurance systems

To enable the legal representative or professional legal adviser to obtain a quality assurance assessment.
A legal representative or a professional legal adviser
An accreditation body
Any information relating to the proceedings providing that it does not, or is not likely to, identify any person involved in the proceedings
To enable the legal representative or professional legal adviser to obtain accreditation.
A party
An elected representative or peer
The text or summary of the whole or part of a judgment given in the proceedings

To enable the elected representative or peer to give advice, investigate any complaint or raise any question of policy or procedure.
A party


For the purpose of making a complaint to the General Medical Council.
A party


For the purpose of a criminal investigation.
A party or any person lawfully in receipt of information


To enable the Crown Prosecution Service to discharge its functions under any enactment.

1.4

A person in the second column of the table in paragraph 1.3 may only communicate information relating to the proceedings received from a person in the first column for the purpose or purposes –

(a) for which he received that information, or

(b) of professional development or training, providing that any communication does not, or is not likely to, identify any person involved in the proceedings without that person's consent.

1.5

In this Practice Direction –

(1) ‘accreditation body’ means –

(a) The Law Society,

(b) Resolution, or

(c) the Lord Chancellor in exercise of the Lord Chancellor's functions in relation to legal aid;

(1A) ‘adoption panel’ means a panel established in accordance with regulation 3 of the Adoption Agencies Regulations 20052 or regulation 3 of the Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 20053;

(2) ‘approved research project’ means a project of research –

(a) approved in writing by a Secretary of State after consultation with the President of the Family Division,

(b) approved in writing by the President of the Family Division, or

(c) conducted under section 83 of the Act of 1989 or section 13 of the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000;

(3) ‘body assessing quality assurance systems’ includes –

(a) The Law Society,

(b) the Lord Chancellor in exercise of the Lord Chancellor's functions in relation to legal aid, or

(c) The General Council of the Bar;

(4) ‘body or person responsible for investigating or determining complaints in relation to legal representatives or professional legal advisers’ means –

(a) The Law Society,

(b) The General Council of the Bar,

(c) The Institute of Legal Executives, or

(d) The Legal Services Ombudsman;

(5) ‘cohabitant’ means one of two persons who are neither married to each other nor civil partners of each other but are living together as husband and wife or as if they were civil partners;

(6) ‘criminal investigation’ means an investigation conducted by police officers with a view to it being ascertained –

(a) whether a person should be charged with an offence, or

(b) whether a person charged with an offence is guilty of it;

(7) ‘elected representative’ means–

(a) a member of the House of Commons,

(b) a member of the National Assembly for Wales, or

(c) a member of the European Parliament elected in England and Wales;

(8) ‘health care professional’ means –

(a) a registered medical practitioner,

(b) a registered nurse or midwife,

(c) a clinical psychologist,or

(d) a child psychotherapist;

(9) ‘lay adviser’ means a non-professional person who gives lay advice on behalf of an organisation in the lay advice sector;

(10) ‘McKenzie Friend’ means any person permitted by the court to sit beside an unrepresented litigant in court to assist that litigant by prompting, taking notes and giving him advice;

(11) ‘mediator’ means a family mediator who is –

(a) undertaking, or has successfully completed, a family mediation training course approved by the United Kingdom College of Family Mediators, or

(b) a member of the Law Society's Family Mediation Panel;

(12) ‘peer’ means a member of the House of Lords as defined by the House of Lords Act 1999.

Footnotes

1. 1991 c.48; section 20 as originally enacted was substituted by the Social Security Act 1998 (c.14); and was further substituted by the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000 (c.19); and modified by the Family Proceedings Appeals (Jurisdiction of Courts) Order 1993 S.I. 1993/961. Return to footnote 1
2. S.I. 2005/389. Return to footnote 2
3. S.I. 2005/1313. Return to footnote 3
Ministry of Justice

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