Law Society welcomes Cabinet approval to reform family law system

Family Court Bill adopts Law Society recommendations

The Law Society of Ireland has welcomed news that the Cabinet has given approval for drafting the Family Court Bill which will oversee a major reform of the family courts and the family law system.

President of the Law Society of Ireland, Michele O’Boyle, said, “Over the last number of years, the Law Society has frequently highlighted the logistical and practical concerns facing users of the family law and courts system. The new Bill largely reflects the Law Society’s recommendations for an improved family court system,” said Ms O’Boyle.

Law Society recommendations

“In 2014, the Law Society’s submission, Family Law – The Future, highlighted the key changes needed to the family law system, including the modernisation of court facilities, operational reform and alternative dispute resolution services, and proposed a number of key reform recommendations in these areas.”

“We are pleased to note that many of our recommendations have been adopted in the Family Court Bill. This Bill is reflective of the vision the Law Society called for and is reflective of the roadmap of how family law systems should operate,” said Ms O’Boyle.

Families first

“The Law Society warmly welcomes the establishment of a District Family Court, Circuit Family Court, and Family High Court as well as the proposed establishment of new specific positions within the judiciary for these courts,” said Ms O’Boyle.

“Appointing dedicated members of the judiciary to the family courts will ensure improved efficiency, as well as effective management. With these changes implemented, I am confident that the family courts will be a more suitable environment for dealing with the sensitive nature of these cases and indeed, the difficulties and inevitable pressures that the family courts can and do bring.”

“I believe the Family Court Bill will be widely welcomed by practitioners across the board. It will reshape and modernise how the family courts operate by modernising systems, improving access to justice and putting families first,” explained Ms O’Boyle.

Future engagement

“I thank the Minister for Justice and Equality Helen McEntee and the government for their approval to progress this Bill. The Law Society looks forward to continuing to engage on this important issue,” she said.