1. The state or quality of being continuous.
2. A continuous or connected whole.
In the family justice review of March 2011 it was recommended that in the family courts that there is more continuity. The following is taken from the final report published in November 2011:-
“32. Nearly everyone has told us at every stage how important it is to have
the same Judge throughout a case.
The aim should be judicial continuity in all familyCases.
We recognise that to achieve continuity will need changes to the work
patterns of some judges. A willingness to adapt work patterns to be able to
offer continuity should be a condition for the ability to take family work. If
some courts can achieve continuity it should be possible in all.”
Family Justice Review Final Report – November 2011 |page 10
You can read more at
(type Family Justice review Final report in the search box)
When I filed the papers at court in June (C 79: enforcement of a contact order) I humbly requested for the same Judge (by name) who had been involved in the original protracted case, for exactly this reason continuity, and hopefully a swifter outcome, so that there be less stress for all involved, in particular the child, and no need for duplication of process, i.e. more reports etc.
The date of the initial hearing ( known as a directions appointment ) was given for some three weeks later in July this gives sufficient time for all parties involved to be served papers, the required 14 day notice period.
- I checked with the court and the same Judge will not be presiding.
- The CAFCASS officer in the original case is also not available.
- The respondents solicitor returned the papers to me yesterday saying as this was a new case; they could not act until receiving a new instruction from their client, and suggested I serve the papers directly to the respondent, and to request a new later date from the court.
- At this stage it is also doubtful that child’s solicitor in the original case is available.
SO MUCH FOR CONTINUITY THEN!
Will I give up? No!
I have re-served the papers to the respondent, and I have requested a new hearing date by email.
And as I truly believe everything happens for a reason you never know, maybe the original Judge, CAFCASS officer and child’s solicitor may become available!
In the meantime I will stay in faith and defer to the one book of law that never fails:
“Like an eagle that rouses her chicks and hovers over her young, so he spread his wings to take them up and carried them safely on his pinions.”