20/7/21 – Message from HHJ Parker, DFJ:
With effect from the week commencing 23rd August all FHDRAs in Vernon Street will revert to attended or in person hearings.
It remains open to an individual judge to direct a remote or hybrid hearing on any particular case for good reason if that is in the interests of justice and it is fair to do so.
Cafcass, in particular, are keen to recommence attended FHDRAs and they are already up and running in Chester, St Helens and Birkenhead.
8/1/21: URGENT APPLICATIONS – Message from HHJ Parker, DFJ for Cheshire and Merseyside:
An issue has arisen as to the interpretation of paragraph 3 of the Local Practice Direction relating to urgent family applications to the District and Circuit Bench on the Northern Circuit issued by the FDLJ on 5th November 2020.
For the avoidance of any doubt the requirement in paragraph 3 namely;
Applications must be accompanied by a statement which includes an explanation of why the case is said to meet the criteria for urgency,
and a draft of the order sought following the President’s standard format;”
DOES NOT REQUIRE that the statement must be in a separate document PROVIDED that the application itself contains the evidence required
to enable the gatekeeper or allocated judge to assess the degree of urgency.
If the application does not contain sufficient information and there is no accompanying statement then the application will simply be given a normal listing.