Family Procedure Rules – On Your iPhone!

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

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

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.

Family Procedure Rules 2010 – Revised

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.

Continue Reading…


Sourdough – Recipe makes one family sized loaf

sourdough - peasant bread, courtesy of grongar

sourdough - peasant bread, courtesy of grongar on flickr

  1. Take one large statutory instrument (fresh) and break it into 36 PARTS. Separate each part into several Chapters and season liberally with fresh terminology and numbering (roman is the best).
  2. Add several lever arch files and 2 reams of paper and stir. Leave the mixture overnight covered with a damp cloth.
  3. Next add 61 practice directions, in small batches, folding them in as you go. Do not add all the practice directions at once, or the desired effect will not be achieved.
  4. Once all the lawyers have risen to the top, skim them off and discard hygienically. They cannot be re-used.
  5. Now add the hundreds and thousands (Litigants in Person sort is best – they are untreated) and knead forcefully until all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Put the dough in a lined loaf tin. Top with flaked cuts.
  7. Bake in a hot oven until cracks begin to show in the crust.
  8. Turn out and slice very thinly indeed.
  9. Store in an airtight tin out of reach of children.


PS This post was really prompted by the fact that the Ministry of Justice have just published what appears to be a final final final (no really it’s final) list of PDs on their website “for preview purposes only”. A large number of PDs are published here, entirely without fanfare, for the first time. It appears that this useful resource will be removed just as the rules come into force (for reasons which only the MoJ know). As I am delivering a seminar on the rules tomorrow I have spent a considerable amount of time today struggling to print out the PDs that are presently not available elsewhere before they are removed – be warned that it is not straightforward to do this given the format of the material. I am hoping that the MoJ will publish revised rules and PDs as they do with the CPR and Adoption Rules, but have not yet received a response to my enquiry about that. I am not sure how else litigants in person will be able to access a reliable and up to date version of the rules and PDs in one place, but no doubt the MoJ have thought of everything and have a plan. I suppose it might be contrary to government policy to encourage litigation by allowing ordinary people access to the rules. Thankfully the lucky members of the legal community have been given a whole three weeks in which to familiarise themselves with over 700 pages of new regulatory material, although we will have to wait a little longer to see the court forms.