I recall now (following my last post) that you all quite like it when I whinge and whine.
So here goes, especially for you (as a much younger Kylie would have said). A whine about the law of unintended consequences.
- Bundles now have to be agreed (*maniacal laughter*), prepared and lodged so early they practically need a pre-birth conference. Timetables are now under so much pressure that documents for a particular fixture have to be squeezed in at the 11th hour in order to make that fixture stand. Consequence? The index NEVER contains the most recent documents which are the very ones that are crucial to the hearing – meaning that nobody has any pagination for said documents and invariably half the advocates don’t have at least 50% of said documents.
- Subsequently, in advance of the next hearing you get sent all the same documents with pagination on them, resulting in annoying waste of paper.
- Or (in the alternative) you don’t and you therefore make up your pagination, which is never thereafter quite in tune with anyone else’s.
- Case Management Orders and CAP forms have the laudable aim of making things clearer and more transparent. The reality is that critical information becomes lost in a morass of verbiage and the meaning of the order is obscured. They become the antithesis of transparency.
Social Work / CAFCASS Templates :
- These are meant to ensure specific matters are considered and addressed, and to prompt analysis of core issues in line with the relevant legal framework – certainly matters which are not a sufficiently consistent feature of social work evidence.
- However, the reality is that these templates suffer from the twin failings of having unmanageable layouts (ridiculous columns that require reading a Guardian’s analysis as if it were a papyrus scroll) and from actually acting somehow to dull the analytical instincts of the poor soul completing them. This results in a document which reads as a formulaic response to a standardised question rather than a tailored response to the unique circumstances of the case, with a corresponding loss of any sense of authenticity that really does social work a disservice (and don’t even get me started on whether the questions are actually the right questions). For me, the documents where the quality of analysis shines through are the ones where the writer ignores templates and says what they really think, and at each stage underpins that assertion / opinion with evidence.
These are just the three that have been getting on my wick today…