Got enough paperwork to carry already without lugging all 274 pages of rules and all 61 Practice Directions to court with you? Sometimes you need access to the rules but not necessarily in full printed glory.
Family Procedure Rules App
If you use an iPhone you will soon be able to access the rules on a new iPhone App (£3.99). You can find out more and register your interest (email notification when available for purchase at the App Store) at www.procedurerules.co.uk.
None of us wants to have to take a Family Court Practice or a Herschmann to court every day, so I have been exploring ways to lighten the load for a little while, and this is the result…It’s not a complete substitute for a decent text book or looseleaf, but it will be handy for those times when the straightforward case suddenly raises an unexpected point, or when the clever clogs on the other side quotes an obscure rule at you. I think it will also be an affordable tool forLitigants in Person.
The iPhone app has been developed with the support of St John’s Chambers.
The Family Procedure (Modification of Enactments) Order 2011 (SI 2011/1045) tie up a few of the loose ends and anomalies I had been wondering about, following the implementation of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. In particular, they bring part 28 on costs into effect in the FPC, and clarify the Allocation Order which provided for transfer to County Court on grounds of incapacity of an adult when the FPC had no power to appoint the OS or a litigation friend. The amendment removes the reference to the exercise of the power to transfer where there is a real risk that a party to proceedings may lack mental capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 as the FPR now make provision (in Part 15) for protected parties in relation to all three levels of court including the magistrates’ courts.
So where I had previously wondered how whether the Allocation order would continue to result in transfer because of adult incapacity notwithstanding Part 15, it seems that this is unlikely to be so.
However the preceding sub para in the Allocation Order (15(1)(g)): “may transfer where…there is a real possibility that a guardian ad litem will be appointed under rule 9.5 of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991;” remains, which seems to leave a slightly different anomaly.
Hat tip to Jordans Family Law for alerting me to this – the SI was only laid before Parliament on 30 March, so although I initially thought I must have missed it, in fact it seems to have been a bit of a Parliamentary afterthought!
PS My previous posts on the FPR can be found here.
I posted a couple of things on the blog as the rules were hot off the press, and when the PDs first began to emerge like crocuses on a lawn. I was candid at the time that these were just first impressions, a roughing out of what the new season would look like. Well time passes, and I’ve had some time to reflect on the rules in more detail (rather made a rod for my own back by being the first member of chambers to be remotely up to speed and landed myself with the job of FPR seminar deliverer). I had wanted to post some detailed thoughts on them but there are many many other things going on in my life all of which have a deadline of today or tomorrow or Monday and so I’m simply going to make available my seminar notes. They are also not a complete guide to the rules (they were the notes to my half of a 1 1/2 hr seminar after all), but they probably add something to the hasty posts of yore.
I would say “Enjoy!” – but you won’t. It’s not entertaining reading. If it makes you feel better about 5 out of 70 solicitors attending the seminars I gave had read the rules before attending. If you’re feeling clueless you will not be alone on 6 April, ostracised on the steps of the court.
Click for notes: family procedure rules 2010
EDIT: Some people are having problems opening the file, so try this PDF VERSION instead. (I suspect it is because you have an old version of word).
PS See this post for a little bit more information in light of the subsequent implementation of a related SI.