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The Family Proceedings Courts (Children Act 1989) (Amendment) Rules 2001

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7.  After rule 11, insert new rules as follows—

Additional powers and duties of children’s guardian

11A.(1) The children’s guardian shall—

(a)appoint a solicitor to represent the child unless such a solicitor has already been appointed; and

(b)give such advice to the child as is appropriate having regard to his understanding and, subject to rule 12(1)(a), instruct the solicitor representing the child on all matters relevant to the interests of the child including possibilities for appeal, arising in the course of proceedings.

(2) Where it appears to the children’s guardian that the child—

(a)is instructing his solicitor direct; or

(b)intends to conduct and is capable of conducting the proceedings on his own behalf,

he shall inform the court through the justices' chief executive and from then he—

(i)shall perform all of his duties set out in rule 11 and this rule, other than those duties under paragraph (1)(a) of this rule, and such other duties as the justices' clerk or the court may direct;

(ii)shall take such part in the proceedings as the justices' clerk or the court may direct; and

(iii)may, with the leave of the justices' clerk or the court, have legal representation in the conduct of those duties.

(3) Unless excused by the justices' clerk or the court, the children’s guardian shall attend all directions appointments in and hearings of the proceedings and shall advise the court on the following matters—

(a)whether the child is of sufficient understanding for any purpose including the child’s refusal to submit to a medical or psychiatric examination or other assessment that the court has the power to require, direct or order;

(b)the wishes of the child in respect of any matter relevant to the proceedings including his attendance at court;

(c)the appropriate forum for the proceedings;

(d)the appropriate timing of the proceedings or any part of them;

(e)the options available to it in respect of the child and the suitability of each such option including what order should be made in determining the application; and

(f)any other matter concerning which the justices' chief executive, the justices' clerk or the court seeks his advice or concerning which he considers that the justices' chief executive, the justices' clerk or the court should be informed.

(4) The advice given under paragraph (3) may, subject to any order of the court, be given orally or in writing; and if the advice be given orally, a note of it shall be taken by the justices' clerk or the court.

(5) The children’s guardian shall, where practicable, notify any person whose joinder as a party to those proceedings would be likely, in the opinion of the officer of the service, to safeguard the interests of the child of that person’s right to apply to be joined under rule 7(2) and shall inform the justices' chief executive or the court—

(a)of any such notification given;

(b)of anyone whom he attempted to notify under this paragraph but was unable to contact; and

(c)of anyone whom he believes may wish to be joined to the proceedings.

(6) The children’s guardian shall, unless the justices' clerk or the court otherwise directs, not less than 14 days before the date fixed for the final hearing of the proceedings—

(a)file a written report advising on the interests of the child;

(b)serve a copy of the filed report on the other parties.

(7) The children’s guardian shall serve and accept service of documents on behalf of the child in accordance with rule 8(3)(b) and (4)(b) and, where the child has not himself been served, and has sufficient understanding, advise the child of the contents of any document so served.

(8) If the children’s guardian inspects records of the kinds referred to in section 42(1), he shall bring to the attention of—

(a)the court, through the justices' chief executive; and

(b)unless the court or the justices' clerk otherwise directs, the other parties to the proceedings,

all records and documents which may, in his opinion, assist in the proper determination of the proceedings.

(9) The children’s guardian shall ensure that, in relation to a decision made by the justices' clerk or the court in the proceedings—

(a)if he considers it appropriate to the age and understanding of the child, the child is notified of that decision; and

(b)if the child is notified of the decision, it is explained to the child in a manner appropriate to his age and understanding.

Additional powers and duties of a children and family reporter

11B.(1) In addition to his duties under rule 11, the children and family reporter shall—

(a)notify the child of such contents of his report (if any) as he considers appropriate to the age and understanding of the child, including any reference to the child’s own views on the application and the recommendation of the children and family reporter; and

(b)if he does notify the child of any contents of his report, explain them to the child in a manner appropriate to his age and understanding.

(2) Where the court has—

(a)directed that a written report be made by a children and family reporter; and

(b)notified the children and family reporter that his report is to be considered at a hearing,

the children and family reporter shall—

(i)file his report; and

(ii)serve a copy on the other parties and on the children’s guardian (if any),

by such time as the court may direct and if no direction is given, not less than 14 days before that hearing.

(3) The court may direct that the children and family reporter attend any hearing at which his report is to be considered.

(4) The children and family reporter shall advise the court if he considers that the joinder of a person as a party to the proceedings would be likely to safeguard the interests of the child.

(5) The children and family reporter shall consider whether it is in the best interests of the child for the child to be made a party to the proceedings.

(6) If the children and family reporter considers the child should be made a party to the proceedings he shall notify the court of his opinion together with the reasons for that opinion..

(1)

1989 c. 41; section 42 was amended by the Courts and Legal Services Act 1990 (c. 41), Schedule 16, paragraph 18 and Schedule 20 and is amended by the Criminal Justice and Court Services Act 2000 (c. 43), Schedule 7, Part II, paragraphs 87 and 92 and by the Local Government Act 2000 (c. 22), Schedule 5, paragraph 20.

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