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Children Act 1989

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Children Act 1989, Section 32 is up to date with all changes known to be in force on or before 19 July 2018. There are changes that may be brought into force at a future date. Changes that have been made appear in the content and are referenced with annotations. Help about Changes to Legislation

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32 Period within which application for order under this Part must be disposed of.E+W

(1)A court [F1in which an application for an order under this Part is proceeding ] shall (in the light of any [F2provision in rules of court that is of the kind mentioned in subsection (2)(a) or (b)) ]

(a)draw up a timetable with a view to [F3disposing of the application—

(i)without delay, and

(ii)in any event within twenty-six weeks beginning with the day on which the application was issued; and]

(b)give such directions as it considers appropriate for the purpose of ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that that timetable is adhered to.

(2)Rules of court may—

(a)specify periods within which specified steps must be taken in relation to such proceedings; and

(b)make other provision with respect to such proceedings for the purpose of ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, that they are disposed of without delay.

[F4(3)A court, when drawing up a timetable under subsection (1)(a), must in particular have regard to—

(a)the impact which the timetable would have on the welfare of the child to whom the application relates; and

(b)the impact which the timetable would have on the conduct of the proceedings.

(4)A court, when revising a timetable drawn up under subsection (1)(a) or when making any decision which may give rise to a need to revise such a timetable (which does not include a decision under subsection (5)), must in particular have regard to—

(a)the impact which any revision would have on the welfare of the child to whom the application relates; and

(b)the impact which any revision would have on the duration and conduct of the proceedings.

(5)A court in which an application under this Part is proceeding may extend the period that is for the time being allowed under subsection (1)(a)(ii) in the case of the application, but may do so only if the court considers that the extension is necessary to enable the court to resolve the proceedings justly.

(6)When deciding whether to grant an extension under subsection (5), a court must in particular have regard to—

(a)the impact which any ensuing timetable revision would have on the welfare of the child to whom the application relates, and

(b)the impact which any ensuing timetable revision would have on the duration and conduct of the proceedings;

and here “ensuing timetable revision” means any revision, of the timetable under subsection (1)(a) for the proceedings, which the court considers may ensue from the extension.

(7)When deciding whether to grant an extension under subsection (5), a court is to take account of the following guidance: extensions are not to be granted routinely and are to be seen as requiring specific justification.

(8)Each separate extension under subsection (5) is to end no more than eight weeks after the later of—

(a)the end of the period being extended; and

(b)the end of the day on which the extension is granted.

(9)The Lord Chancellor may by regulations amend subsection (1)(a)(ii), or the opening words of subsection (8), for the purpose of varying the period for the time being specified in that provision.

(10)Rules of court may provide that a court—

(a)when deciding whether to exercise the power under subsection (5), or

(b)when deciding how to exercise that power,

must, or may or may not, have regard to matters specified in the rules, or must take account of any guidance set out in the rules.]

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Annotations are used to give authority for changes and other effects on the legislation you are viewing and to convey editorial information. They appear at the foot of the relevant provision or under the associated heading. Annotations are categorised by annotation type, such as F-notes for textual amendments and I-notes for commencement information (a full list can be found in the Editorial Practice Guide). Each annotation is identified by a sequential reference number. For F-notes, M-notes and X-notes, the number also appears in bold superscript at the relevant location in the text. All annotations contain links to the affecting legislation.

Amendments (Textual)

F1Words in s. 32(1) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 14(7)(a), 139(6); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(c) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F2Words in s. 32(1) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 14(7)(b), 139(6); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(c) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F3Words in s. 32(1)(a) substituted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 14(2), 139(6); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(c) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

F4S. 32(3)-(10) inserted (22.4.2014) by Children and Families Act 2014 (c. 6), ss. 14(3), 139(6); S.I. 2014/889, art. 4(c) (with transitional provisions in S.I. 2014/1042, arts. 3, 4, 6-10)

Commencement Information

I1S. 32 wholly in force at 14.10.1991 see s. 108(2)(3) and S.I. 1991/828, art. 3(2)

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