Judges have been warned by the Court of Appeal not to adjourn final decisions in family cases simply to ‘press the pause button’.
As reported by The Law Gazette, Lord Justice Peter Jackson said adjourning a decision ‘is a positive choice that requires proper weighing-up of the advantages and disadvantages and a lively awareness that the passage of time has consequences.’
Jackson LJ said: ‘In cases involving children, there can sometimes be good reasons for adjourning a final decision in order to obtain necessary information. The overriding obligation is to deal with the case justly, but there is a trade-off between the need for information and the presumptive prejudice to the child of delay…
‘Judges in the family court are well used to finding where the balance lies in the particular case before them and are acutely aware that for babies and young children the passage of weeks and months is a matter of real significance.’