International Research Conference on Family Justice: Achieving Justice for Children and their Families.

This sounds like a very interesting two days, with an impressive line up of keynote speakers. I hope to be there in some capacity. 

Northumbria University, Newcastle, 8 – 9 October 2016.

Northumbria University is delighted to host this two day International Research Conference which will provide delegates with the opportunity to share experiences of the impact of reforms to family justice in the UK, and discuss strategies and solutions for enabling children and their families to access justice when they are in crisis and turn to a system for help.

The family justice system is the legal framework that underpins the regulation of disputes in respect of the family or between members of the family and the state. It involves the court, professionals, parents and children, from the pre-proceedings stage, and until the outcome of a dispute is resolved.

There are two broad domains in law:

Private law – concerned with how the law determines the status, finances and property allocation and child caring arrangements of families, such as in cases of divorce or cohabitation breakdown.
Public law – which involves situations when the state intervenes directly to protect children, who are considered to be suffering, or at risk.
Family justice requires more than a legal framework, it must be a system that can provide advice and support at times when families are in crisis.

It is acknowledged that effective mechanisms for negotiation, dispute management and resolution, must be pivotal to this system. Going to court should always be the final option when all other alternatives have been explored.

Following the implementation of the Public Law Outline in 2008, and the modernization of the family justice system, we have experienced change that has been referred to as a ‘revolution’ in the family courts. The experience on the ground from a range of professionals has been of widespread confusion and uncertainty.


In addition, delegates will discuss the increasing reliance on self-help services and when people are most in need, and the availability of good legal advice. It will provide an opportunity for delegates from a range of professional backgrounds to consider the issues involved, including the perspectives and experiences of families and children at the heart of the process, and to reflect on changes we can make to improve work at the frontline.

Professor Kim Holt, Professor of Social Justice and Family Law, Health and Life Sciences shall be chairing the conference which will cover a diverse range of themes including:

Advocacy and Capacity: the rhetoric and reality of representation for parents and children
Relationship-based approaches to working with families
Research in Family Justice: possibilities and constraints
Innovation and Empowering Interventions
Comparative Approaches to Family Justice: commonalities and differences from International Jurisdictions
Throughout the two day conference delegates will hear from a host of keynote speakers

Rt. Hon. Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice
Professor Brid Featherstone, Professor of Social Work, University of Huddersfield
Professor Judith Masson, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies, University of Bristol
Nicholas Stonor QC, Trinity Chambers Newcastle
Professor Kathryn Abel, Professor of Psychological Medicine, University of Manchester
Professor Karen Broadhurst, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University

Please click here to see the full programme.

Papers and abstract submission

We would welcome abstracts based on the above theme. Please click here for further information. To submit your abstract please email [email protected]. The deadline for submission is Friday, 1 July 2016. Authors will receive a decision on abstracts from the conference panel by Friday, 29 July 2016.

If you have any conference queries, please contact [email protected]

Conference Fees

Conference Fee Early Bird Fee £325 (Early Bird registration closes on Friday, 1 July 2016)

Full Conference Fee £375

The conference fee itself includes the following items:

Conference Pack
Hospitality across the two days
Conference Dinner on Saturday, 8 October 2016 which provide delegates with a further opportunity to network
Conference Dinner

Specific details about the conference dinner will be made available soon.

To book your accomodation, please click here.

To book your place, please click here.

2 thoughts on “International Research Conference on Family Justice: Achieving Justice for Children and their Families.

  1. Angelo Granda

    Sarah, I hope you are able to take some part in this event and represent the CPR.
    I trust you will put forward any relevant and the more sensible views raised by parents ,children and other readers of the forums (aswell as your own,of course).

    To me,it seems a lot of money to attend.I know you are freelance so we are all grateful you are willing to go and i hope you will be able to claim it on expenses.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      Sorry, I can’t go – it will cost me well over £500 for conference fees, travel and child care and that simply isn’t affordable. I can’t claim expenses from myself, unfortunately. Shame, as the line up is good but I think the ticket prices will put it out of reach of anyone who isn’t funded by an organisation.

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