Vulnerable persons - participation and evidence in family proceedings

The following Family practice note from LexisNexis provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering the participation of vulnerable people and evidence in family proceedings.

It covers:

• Background
• Key provisions
• Key definitions
• A child
• An intermediary
• Participation direction
• A live link
• Quality of evidence
• Factors the court must take into account

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance has been issued, including by the President of the Family Division, regarding all proceedings in the Family Court in England and Wales during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and until further notice, which profoundly affects normal practice, including requirements for the majority of family hearings to be dealt with remotely. For details about the changes to court processes and procedures during this time, see Practice Note: Coronavirus (COVID–19) - news and resources for family lawyers.

This Practice Note sets out the procedure prior to the pandemic and during this period of disruption to the justice system and practitioners should be aware that local practice may vary. Of note is the decision in Re S (vulnerable parent: intermediary), where the court was concerned with an appeal from a case management decision in care proceedings refusing an application by a parent with a learning disability for an intermediary assessment and the appointment of an intermediary and the position of vulnerable individuals taking part in remote or semi-remote (hybrid) hearings during the pandemic (see paras [26]–[27]).

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2017, SI 2017/1033 amended the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), SI 2010/2955, with effect from 27 November 2017 by inserting FPR 2010, SI 2010/2955, Pt 3A, making special provision about the participation of vulnerable persons in family proceedings and the giving of evidence

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