9.2 B. Guidance and Resources


Family Law Proceedings

Practice Direction - Residence and Contact Orders: domestic violence and harm

Family Justice Council (2009)

This practice direction highlights that the safety of the child is paramount. It also looks at how to address this in family proceedings.

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Family Justice In View

Ministry of Justice (2008)

This report outlines the government proposals to change court rules that will allow the media to attend family proceedings in all tiers of court.

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Practice Direction - experts in family proceedings relating to children

Family Justice Council (2008)

This Practice Direction deals with the use of expert evidence and the instruction of experts in family proceedings relating to children, which came into force on 1st April 2008.

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Children and Adoption Act 2006 - Court Rules - Amendments to the Family Proceedings Rules 1991

Ministry of Justice (2008)

This consultation sought views on draft court rules and forms to support the implementation of the remaining provisions of the Children and Adoption Act 2006. These enable courts to use contact activities to help resolve child contact disputes and give them more flexible powers to enforce contact orders.

The consultation is on a draft statutory instrument, made by the Family Proceedings Rule Committee under the provisions of section 40(1) and (4)(aa) of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. The draft statutory instrument contains the court rules to support the implementation of the provisions for contact activity directions and conditions and more flexible powers for the courts to enforce orders for contact with a child introduced by the Children and Adoption Act 2006.

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Making safe arrangements for children affected by domestic violence: public and private law

Women's Aid (2006)

The original of this article (which has been edited for the website) was written by Nicola Harwin for a book entitled "Making an impact: Children and domestic violence" (Jessica Kingsley Publishers) by Marianne Hester, Chris Pearson and Nicola Harwin.

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Children and Adoption Act 2006 Court Rules

Courts have more flexible powers to resolve conflicts between parents in contact cases as a result of the implementation of the remaining provisions of Part 1 of the Act.

The new rules include:

•    giving the court power to direct a party to the case to undertake a contact activity

•    providing the court with the power to attach a contact activity condition to contact orders

•    enabling the court to award financial compensation from one person to another for losses arising from failure to comply with the order

•    enabling the court, upon application, to impose an unpaid work requirement on the person who breaches the contact order.

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Legal Services Commission Manual Volume 3, Part C, Decision Making Guidance

Legal Services Commission

Guidance for funding domestic violence cases.

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Representation of Children in Family Proceedings

Ministry of Justice

Making the child a party to the proceedings is a step that will be taken only in cases which involve an issue of significant difficulty and consequently will occur in only a minority of cases.

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Rights of Women

Rights of Women have produced a number of information sheets on legal issues affecting women and children. You can download them here, free of charge.

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For further information relating to criminal and civil law please see Section 11.5


Crown Prosecution Service

The Crown Prosecution Service has policies and procedures for responding to domestic violence and violence against women. The safety of children of victims must be considered as part of the risk assessment and management process during and court case or trial. This section should be read in conjunction with Section 7.11 which contains more information about CPS policy and practice.

CPS Policy on prosecuting cases involving children and young people as victims or witnesses


This policy includes the special measures to provide safety and support for children involved in criminal proceedings whether as a victim or witness. It is written for the parents and carers of child victims and witnesses, and for people whose job is to support children.

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Provision of Therapy for Child Witnesses Prior to a Criminal Trial

Practice Guidance

The Crown Prosecution Service, the Department of Health and the Home Office The guidance is issued as part of the Action For Justice programme by which the Home Office is co-ordinating the implementation of the various measures for witnesses recommended in Speaking Up For Justice.

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