Family Courts: Expert Evidence
House of Lords
Lord McNally (Minister of State, Justice; Liberal Democrat)
The Written Answer given to John Hemming on
The full answer is as follows:
The Government have no plans to bring forward proposals of this kind. The Government do not consider it necessary, since it is already possible for someone who is not a party to the proceedings to refer an expert's report to regulators provided certain conditions are met.
The Family Procedure Rules 2010 permit a party to the proceedings, or that party's legal representative acting on the party's instructions, to communicate information to another person where necessary to enable the party to make and pursue a complaint against a person or body involved in the proceedings, which would include disclosing an expert's report to another person for the purpose of pursuing a complaint about that expert. That person is then permitted (with the party's permission) to disclose this information to another person (who may, for example, be the regulator) provided it is for the same purpose. Neither the person to whom the information is disclosed in the first instance, nor the person to whom it is subsequently disclosed, need be legally qualified. The relevant rules (FPR 12.75 (3) and 12.75 (1) (c)) are set out in Part 12 of the Family Procedure Rules.