Enhancing the Participation of Children and Young People in Family Court Proceedings

A debate hosted by the Family Justice Council in the Parliament Room at the Inner Temple, London EC4, on Monday October 20, 2008

The Family Justice Council  hosted a debate to explore whether the participation of children and young people in family court proceedings should be enhanced.  Experts from all sides of the issue were involved in the discussion which  included evidence from young people themselves.

Speaking in favour of increased participation were Mr Justice Hedley QC and Anthony Douglas the Chief Executive of cafass.

Mr Justice (Sir Mark) Hedley, 60, has been a Justice of the High Court, assigned to the Family Division, since January 2002.  Anthony Douglas has been Chief Executive of cafcass the specialist national agency representing children and families in family courts throughout England, since 2004.

Arguing in favour of a more cautious  approach were Anthony Hayden QC and Alison Paddle, formerly Chair of NAGALRO.

Anthony Hayden was appointed Deputy High Court Judge (Family Division) in 2004.  Alison Paddle stood down as Chair of NAGALRO (The National Association of Guardians Ad Litem and Reporting Officers) earlier this year.

After the speeches there was a question and answer session with an expert panel including:


A summary of the proceedings and a podcast recorded at the event is available here.

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