Launch of the Disclosure of Information between Family and Criminal Agencies and Jurisdictions: 2024 Protocol

The Disclosure of Information between Family and Criminal Agencies and Jurisdictions: 2024 Protocol comes into effect on 1 March 2024. It replaces the 2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model: disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and care directions hearings.

A group comprised of representatives from the judiciary, local authorities, police, National Police Chief’s Council and Crown Prosecution Service have devised and developed this Protocol through consultation and working together. It replaces the previous 2013 version to ensure practice remains relevant and covers all circumstances where there is to be an exchange of information and material between criminal and family agencies and jurisdictions.

The senior judiciary, which has approved this Protocol, wish to convey their thanks to the working group.

This new Protocol relates to all private and public family law proceedings, including contemplated public law proceedings, and all material held by the police.

It will be reviewed by a working group comprising the judiciary, local authorities, police and Crown Prosecution Service based on the experience of its implementation, in 2025.

The protocol is in three parts:

Part A: disclosure from the police to family proceedings

Part B: disclosure sought by an investigator

Part C: linked directions hearings             

All guidance notes and annex’s can be found as attached




New PLO Pilot Scheme was introduced in January 2024   .This is being trialled in a limited number of courts, it applies to all cases issued from that date onwards, and effects the following courts, Swansea, Kingston – Upon – Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Nottingham, Truro, West London. Overall aim is to reduce delay and improve communications between professionals which, ultimately, leads to cases concluding on time; in Court this week in West London at the first hearing, the Judge was keen to given an indication to the parents about when they could expect this case to come to an end.

The Local Authority advocate is to file a Readiness Checklist, and / or an Expert Assessment Checklist, in cases falling within the Pilot Scheme. Whilst the onus is on the LA to complete this as part of the Draft Order for the CMH / FMCH, all the parties need to be aware of the requirement and provide details at the Advocates meeting or in prior email communication in order to effectuate information sharing.  Another anticipated benefit is to improve preparation and reduce the number of hearing adjournments. All this points towards the overriding objective: - the Court must deal with cases justly.

There are apparently prescribed templates, as referenced at the base of the PD and I am hunting these down and will circulate on receipt – my extensive search as not produced fruit yet! Though really that is for the LA to worry about.

Both checklists apply for: -

Swansea, Liverpool, Nottingham, Milton Keynes. 

Expert Assessment Checklist for: - 

Newcastle and West London

Readiness Checklist for: -

Kingston Upon Hull, Manchester, and Truro

All guidance notes and annex’s can be found as attached