Parents – important survey seeking your views on remote hearings

I’ve posted about this before but I’m going to do it again, because it’s important. If your case has been dealt with through a remote hearing recently, please fill in this survey run by The Transparency Project to tell us how it went.

We will be feeding the results of this survey into the President of the Family Division’s 2 week ‘stocktake’ of how things are going. Your experience and comments have the potential to shape things for other families.

Please share with anyone you know who is in the Family Court.

Link to the survey here.


4 thoughts on “Parents – important survey seeking your views on remote hearings

  1. I am out of it and of course I cannot do the survey: but two thoughts.

    First: the replies will be self-selected so that those who provide the information will tend to be those who are unhappy about the process or the outcome or both. People don’t complete surveys to say that all is well.

    Second: it will be interest to see if there are complaints that parties who would in other circumstances have been screened while giving evidence from the view of the opposing party – typically those complaining of domestic abuse – were visible to all taking part. My view is that if being electronically seen by the alleged abuser troubles the complainant it’s just too bad. He (usually he) is entitled to be “present”. Does anyone disagree?

    • Sorry, just spotted your comment from a while back and have moderated it through. Re your first point : yes of course. It is a limitation. But we’re doing what we can. And in fact not all the respondents were unhappy.
      Re the second – in fact some victims of abuse reported it was much better than being in the same courtroom / building as their abuser (most were by phone however).

  2. That’s interesting. You mean of course alleged victims of abuse, unless there has been a finding, but I’ll forgive you just this once.*

    Screens are odd. While in theory they are available when required, more and more hearings are held in a DJ’s room, very small, one oblong table and everybody can see everybody. And there is one narrow passage in and out of it for everyone to use!

    *When I don my chair-of-JPs hat I am less merciful. When the CPS open a d.v. case they are effectively reading a script which uses the V-word. And I pull them up every time until they say complainant. It’s important. Victim means guilty, and that’s the exact opposite of the presumption in law.

    • I don’t mean alleged victims in this instance, no. I’m only talking about the ones who are in fact victims of abuse, which some undoubtedly are, even before that is proved. Of course if I were on the other side of the bench I would make no presumptions about any individual alleged victim, but I’m not in that position and I am talking about a category of people who most certainly exist, even if they are hard to distinguish from false alligators, and who might in some respects gain some benefit from remote ways of working.
      I agree with you about screens. They are an imperfect solution.

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