Police Evidence in Concurrent Criminal and Care Proceedings
When a family is involved in care proceedings, there are procedures in place for communication of information between the Family Court and the police. The provisions that deal specifically with the release of information between the Family Court, local authorities and the police are:-
- Family Procedure Rules 2010, rule 12.73
- Family Procedure Rules 2010 Practice Direction 12G – Communication of information
- Protocol and Good Practice Model: Disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings (‘the 2013 Protocol’).
The process of disclosure between the Family Court and the criminal jurisdiction is essential to the proper administration of justice. The process is governed by the above protocols and on occasion reinforced by court orders.
The 2013 Protocol governs all aspects of disclosure from the police to the local authorities and into the Family Court. The fundamental purpose of the 2013 Protocol is the protection of children. The Protocol was devised to assist the Family Court in ensuring that all relevant material is disclosed during care proceedings and the Family Court can achieve an outcome within the 26 week timetable. The Protocol aims to give both solicitors and clients the confidence that information can be exchanged between the police and local authorities to maximise the efficiency in the Family Court.
The care department at Emery Johnson Astills are often involved in cases involving families where police disclosure is requested as part of the care/family proceedings. The disclosure is important to the case to ensure that all relevant material has been disclosed to the Court to ensure that the Judge hearing the care is in a position to make the orders that are in the best interests for the children.
Emery Johnson Astills are experts in care and criminal law. If you require advice or assistance from a specialist solicitor at Emery Johnson Astills, please do not hesitate to call us on 0116 255 4855.