The Family Procedure Rules 2010 and the supporting Practice Directions set out a comprehensive framework for the family jurisdiction. I am pleased that, for the first time, family proceedings courts will operate under the same set of rules as the High Court and the county court. This will serve to improve even further the relationship between the family proceedings court and the county court.

The new framework, modelled on the approach to the Civil Procedure Rules, will contribute to a common understanding and approach across all three tiers of family court, resulting in a more streamlined system to serve court users well.

I should like to pay tribute to the members of the Family Procedure Rule Committee - past and present - for their unstinting public service in developing, consulting on and refining these rules. The rules, Practice Directions and revised court forms reflect many hours of painstaking and detailed work by judicial and practitioner experts supported by a lay member and officials from the Ministry of Justice.

The creation of a unified single set of rules for the family jurisdiction is a significant achievement. We shall of course continue to develop and refine the rules and Practice Directions to ensure that they remain responsive to the needs of all those who use the family justice system.

Sir Nicholas Wall,
President of the Family Division
Ministry of Justice


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