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Family law advice sessions launched by School of Law and Politics

19 October 2023

The complexities of the Family Court are being addressed in a series of free advice sessions at the School of Law and Politics for members of the public going through family breakups.

The Family Law Assistance and Self-Help Clinic, led by children’s litigation specialist, Professor Jason Tucker, is for parents unable to agree arrangements for their children following the breakdown of a relationship. Law students will deliver workshops on the court process, the legal principles that apply in children's cases and the orders that the Family Court can make to help members of the community work through this difficult and costly process.

Legal Aid is generally  no longer available for private law cases involving children which means that, when there is a family breakdown, parents either have to pay for legal advice privately, or represent themselves (as litigants in person).

Speaking about the scheme, Professor Tucker said, “Our scheme aims to provide information about the court process, which can be very daunting for anybody having to represent themselves at court. A key feature of the workshops is that the students are providing generic information, rather than tailored advice so this means that they can be attended by anyone involved in court proceedings.”

The workshops have been written and developed by students overseen by legal experts. They have undertaken their own legal research to identify the correct law and procedure, and useful resources available to assist people engaged in court proceedings. Students have worked in mini ‘firms’ to develop their team working skills, and their oral presentation skills to assist them in delivering sessions to members of the public, who are experiencing the stress of the court process. Delivering workshops to the public also instils professionalism, as the students know that they have made a commitment to delivering the workshops, which people outside the University are relying on them to fulfil.

“Our aim for the workshops is that attendees gain a better understanding of the court process in which they have become involved. We also want to give them the confidence to actively engage with that process to ensure that their views about future arrangements for their child or children are heard and taken into account by the court."

Professor Jason Tucker Dean for Student Employability and Professor of Law

The workshops will take place at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics and is open to members of the public this November. For further information on dates and to register your attendance, please contact the Pro Bono team.

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