About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Appeals from magistrates

In case you missed it ....


The Access to Justice Act 1999 (Destination of Appeals) (Family Proceedings) Order 2009 SI 2009 No. 871 came into force on 6th April 2009

The full commentary can be found on Family Law Week at:

The effect of this Order is that, from 6th April 2009, appeals against decisions of magistrates’ courts in family proceedings shall lie to a county court instead of to the High Court.

Articles 2 and 3 and 6 to 9 amend the statutory provisions giving rights of appeal from decisions of magistrates’ courts. The amendments provide for the appeals to lie to a county court instead of to the High Court and make consequential changes.

Article 4(2) provides that an application to have a case stated for the opinion of the High Court under section 111 of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 1980 may not be made in relation to family proceedings. Family proceedings are defined as—
(a) proceedings which, by virtue of section 65 of the 1980 Act, are or may be treated as family proceedings for the purposes of that Act; and
(b) proceedings under the Child Support Act 1991.

A new section 111A is inserted into the 1980 Act by article 4(3). The new section provides that in family proceedings a person may appeal to a county court on the ground that a decision is wrong in law or is in excess of jurisdiction. This appeal to a county court replaces the procedure for making an application to have a case stated as it is not appropriate for a county court to hear such an application.

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