Covid-19 and the family courts: key practitioner findings in applications for domestic violence remedy orders

Ana Speed*, Kayliegh Richardson, Callum Thomson, Laura Coapes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the year following the introduction of social distancing measures in March 2020, applications for non-molestation orders in England and Wales increased by up to 27% whilst applications for occupation orders increased in by up to 22%. The heightened need for recourse to the family courts during this time supports a more general concern that rates of domestic abuse have increased during the pandemic. This paper presents the findings of in-depth interviews conducted with professionals in the North East of England who have represented or otherwise supported victims of domestic abuse in the family courts since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The aims of this article are not to ‘name and shame’ any particular court, but rather to evaluate the capacity of the remote family court to provide a safe and fair process for victims of domestic abuse. Where appropriate, the authors will also make recommendations for improving practitioner and litigants’ experiences within the current restrictions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild and Family Law Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 May 2021

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