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20 July 2020

Urgent Attention Of Children Order Panel Members/Family Law Practioner

LONDONDERRY FCC and LAGANSIDE FCC – cases listed for hearing during week commencing 3rd August 2020.

In advance of a Society communication to be issued via E-nformer to all members of the profession containing updates from the Office of the Lord Chief Justice, please note the information below which relates particularly to Londonderry FCC and Laganside FCC giving cases listed for review during week commencing 3rd August 2020.

Colleagues are advised to REGULARLY monitor the Coronavirus section of the website of Judiciary NI -  and the Society's e-Newsletter - E-nformer.

* Please check all court lists attached and identify cases that you are involved in.

* Forms must also be completed setting out the reasons where the parties seek an adjournment.

* Only one form per case must be lodged which must be completed collaboratively with the opposition representative/s.

* Issues should be narrowed and electronic copies of documents referred to in the FCI1 form attached.

* The subject line for the email should be ‘FCC review’.

* During the week of the 3rd August, the judge will review all forms and determine the next steps. Please refer to ICOS for directions and hearings will be notified directly.

* The completed form for each case must be lodged in the relevant court office by 24th July 2020.

Please note that NIL RETURNS have been recorded for Craigavon and Dungannon.

Guidance issued by the Office of the Lord Chief Justice on 12th and 22nd May set out plans for administrative reviews of Family Care Centre (FCC) cases. 

Separate, more detailed guidance, should be consulted for Family Proceedings (all tiers) and for Family Care Centre (FCC) Recovery - these are reviewed and updated regularly.

The family judge for each Family Care Centre has identified the cases which are to be reviewed, and require you to lodge the requisite form for each case by the return date given below.  Forms must also be completed setting out the reasons where the parties seek an adjournment.

Representatives should identify their cases from the attached list, and collaboratively complete and lodge Form FCI1 for each by email to the relevant court office by  24th July 2020.   It is essential that the forms are completed as comprehensively as possible to narrow the issues to be determined by the judge. It would assist the office staff and the judges if electronic copies of any documents relied upon or referred to in the FCI1 form were attached to it on submission. Email addresses for court offices can be found in Annex A.  The subject line of your email should state ‘FCC Review’.

During week commencing 3rd August 2020, the judge will review the forms received, together with any relevant documents lodged, and determine whether each matter can be dealt with administratively or will require a hearing.  Where the judge determines a review hearing is required the parties will be notified of the arrangements. Orders / Directions will be available via ICOS as normal.

Judges will continue to hear urgent matters, those where the parties have agreed a way forward, or those where the legal representative or a party to the proceedings has requested a review / hearing and the judge considers it appropriate, where the representatives have lodged forms clearly setting out the circumstances, as per the Lord Chief Justice’s earlier guidance.

Any queries regarding the administrative reviews should be directed to the relevant court office.



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