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Remote Hearings

    PFAN has carried out a consultation with parents involved in remote Family Court hearings due to coronavirus restrictions. We found that parents had severe problems with their legal representation and felt their hearings were inhumane and unfair. Full report

    Hear the BBC report on Today starting at 46 min 20 sec into the show

    PFAN recommends that:

    1. Remote hearings should only be held in circumstances where face to face hearings are impossible and the need for a hearing is urgent
    2. No Family Court proceedings should be held with parents and/or children having only telephone access to proceedings
    3. Where remote hearings are unavoidable a range of compensatory actions need to be put in place to ensure as just a process as possible
      • Access to internet and technology is made available both for the hearing and for legal consultation before and between hearings
      • The process of hearings should be adapted to provide better explanation of process and permit parents to have private discussions with their representatives
      • Support for parents should be provided
    4. Covid-19 constraints require that courts change timescales and adopt new understandings of activities and treatments parents are able to undertake
    No phone remote hearings
    End Phone Hearings

    Read the full report on our consultation on remote court hearings