Access to Family Justice

Authored by: Mavis Maclean , John Eekelaar

Routledge Handbook of Family Law and Policy

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367195526
eBook ISBN: 9781003058519
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781003058519-37

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Abstract

The concerns over costs, which it was stated in the First Edition of this book were driving issues regarding the delivery of family justice, have deepened. Jurisdictions that have in the past attempted to develop therapeutic models to supplement or even partially replace ‘adversarial legal’ models, such as in the family court movement in the US, or the Family Court of Australia, have found that these models require significant resources if they are to be effective and are looking to alternative models. 1 In England and Wales, the desire goes further, not only to remove most intra-family disputes from courts, but also from the legal domain where the provision of legal resources requires public expenditure. 2 In continental Europe, on the other hand, at least in France, Belgium and Germany, there had been less focus on taking family issues away from courts and lawyers, but rather on strategies to get courts to dispose of cases as quickly as possible, a process described by Hartmund Rosa as ‘acceleration’, 3 though in France it has now become possible to divorce by agreement without obtaining a court order, though lawyers very much remain involved, 4 and (as described later) the Netherlands has experimented with online dispute resolution.

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