01 May, 2018
Sir James Munby, who is the current President of the Family Division, retires on 27 July, handing over the baton to Sir Andrew McFarlane who is a Court of Appeal Judge.
Sir James Munby has seen a huge change in his time as President and a move towards digitalisation of the court system. He has highlighted 5 "burning issues" that still require statutory reform - no fault divorce, cohabitants' property rights, ancillary relief, alleged perpetrators of domestic abuse being able to cross-examine alleged victims and transparency.
Sir Andrew McFarlane, who will take over the legacy and attempt to take positive steps to progress the burning issues, was called to the bar in 1977 and became a QC in 1998. He was appointed a Recorder in 1995, Deputy High Court Judge in 2000 and a High Court Judge in the Family Division in 2005. He has co-written the Children Law and Practice which coincided with the 1989 Children Act in 1991. He has been progressive in pushing changes with the Family Justice Review as, for example, he recommended a statutory 6 month time limit for resolving care cases. Sir Andrew McFarlane is noted for his speeches and lectures on all aspects of child law.
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