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Children, Schools and Families Act 2010

Section 20: Independent review

76.The Part 2 amending provisions will have effect only when commenced. Subsections (1) and (2) of section 20 provide preconditions for the exercise of the power to make an order commencing those provisions, to reflect the fact that the Part 2 amending provisions are significantly different from the Part 2 provisions themselves. Not only must the Lord Chancellor first (as with the precondition in subsection (4) of section 19) allow for a period of 18 months to elapse from commencement of section 11, but also a full review of the findings from the pilot scheme for publication of judgments in family proceedings must have been completed. Only when both conditions have been fulfilled may the Lord Chancellor commission an independent review and evaluation of the operation of the reporting regime.

77.This independent review and evaluation must include an evaluation of Part 2 of the Act and the impact of the changes to rules governing media attendance at family proceedings made in April 2009. A report setting out the conclusions of the review must then be laid before Parliament. Only when all three preconditions (18 month period, independent review, laying of report) have been fulfilled may the Lord Chancellor make the commencement order bringing the Part 2 amending provisions into force; and the commencement order itself is subject to affirmative resolution procedure. The Lord Chancellor does not have to commission a review or lay a report before Parliament; but may not commence the Part 2 amending provisions without having done so.

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