3 Feb '20
The EWI has submitted a response to the President of the Family Division Working Group on Medical Experts in the Family Courts Draft Report which has been out for consultation.
The draft report is the output of a working Group established by Sir Andrew McFarlane to identify the scale of the problem of medical expert witness shortages in the family courts, to look at the causes and to identify possible solutions.
The working group is Chaired by Mr Justice Williams and has representatives from the legal profession and the Royal Medical Colleges.
Whilst the EWI is pleased to see this issue being considered, we were disappointed and surprised that there is no reference at all in the report to the potential role of the EWI (or indeed any other Expert Witness organisations and training providers) and that there has been no engagement or formal consultation with us over this work.
We have submitted a full response to the consultation and used this as an opportunity to state our willingness and commitment to engage with the working group, Royal Colleges, and legal profession, to help build a suitable infrastructure to provide the relevant training and support environment to create a larger pool of experts able to support the family courts.
The consultation closed on Friday 31st January and the final report is due to be presented to the President in Spring 2020. We will monitor this work and inform members of any further developments.