The primary role of the Family Justice Council is to promote an inter-disciplinary approach to family justice and to monitor the system.
The Council, a non-statutory, advisory body, monitors how effectively the system, both as a whole, and through its component parts, delivers the service the Government and the public need. It advises on reforms necessary for continuous improvement.
The Council was established following a consultation published in March 2002 by the then Lord Chancellor’s Department: “Promoting Inter-Agency Working in the Family Justice System”. This proposed the establishment of a committee to promote interdisciplinary co-operation and best practice, and to advise Government on issues affecting the family justice system. The response to the consultation was overwhelmingly in support of the proposal and the establishment of the Council was approved by the Lord Chancellor in May 2003 and it became operational in July 2004.
Since the final report of the Family Justice Review panel in November 2011, the Council has responded to the recommendations by changing its structure and way of working. Its secretariat has become part of the private office of the President of the Family Division, reflecting the Council’s enhanced role of providing expert inter-disciplinary advice direct to the Family Justice Board, and providing guidance documents and input to the implementation plan for the Single Family Court and judicial proposals for the modernisation of family justice.
In order to achieve its purpose effectively, the Council consists of a representative cross-section of those who work, use or have an interest in the family justice system.