Press release

Appointment of the Family Justice Board chair

Details of the government's plans to strengthen the family justice system.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government has appointed David Norgrove as the chair of the new Family Justice Board. Mr Norgrove will oversee the board which is a key part of the reforms announced in the Family Justice Review.

The Family Justice Review panel made a number of recommendations to government to reform and strengthen the family justice system. Our response to this review, published earlier this year, stated our commitment to overhaul the system by tackling delays, streamlining processes and supporting families to resolve their own disputes.

The creation of the Family Justice Board forms part of the government’s strategy to ensure better cross-system working. The board, accountable to ministers, is made up of senior figures representing the key organisations in the family justice system. The board is focusing on reducing delay across the system, helping it prepare for the introduction of the statutory six month time limit in care cases. The board will also work to build cross agency coherence, tackle variations in local performance, and ensure more private law cases are resolved out of court, where appropriate.

Family Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly said:

I am pleased David Norgrove has been appointed as the chair of the Family Justice Board. This will be a key role in starting the immediate work on reforming our system. This is no easy job and we fully recognise that achieving any significant change is far from simple.

The reform of family justice is a critical priority for government. Our reforms are ambitious and system-wide and particularly tackle the crucial problem of delay.

Responding to his appointment as chair of the Family Justice Board, David Norgrove said:

This is an opportunity for me to continue the panel’s work in reforming a system that I know can be improved to ensure better outcomes for families and importantly, for children.

As chair of the Family Justice Board I will be working with organisations and practitioners across the country to improve performance. I believe this radical package of reforms will help children and families through cutting the current long delays and through much better support for separating couples who are sorting out their issues.

Children’s Minister Tim Loughton said:

We need to build trust in the family justice system and end its delays, expense and bureaucracy which damage far too many children’s lives. David Norgrove did an outstanding job leading the independent family justice review which has shaped our radical reforms. He brings a wealth of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the table - and will do an excellent job.

The board will report on its work annually and will be supported by a network of new local family justice boards to bring together agencies and stakeholders to drive improvements locally.

Notes to editors

  1. For more information please contact the Ministry of Justice Press Office on 020 3334 3536.

  2. A photo of David Norgrove is available via the Ministry of Justice press office.

  3. David Norgrove’s biography: David Norgrove is currently chairman of Pensions First, the Low Pay Commission and the Amnesty International Charitable Trust. He was the first chairman of the Pensions Regulator. He has been a trustee and deputy chairman of the British Museum. He chaired a review of the Family Justice System in 2010-11. His earlier career included work in HM Treasury, at First National Bank of Chicago, as private secretary to the prime minister, Mrs Thatcher, and as an executive director of Marks and Spencer.

  4. The government’s Family Justice Review is published on the Ministry of Justice website.

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Published 23 July 2012