Speech by the President of the Family Division: “Interesting Times”

Sir Andrew McFarlane President of the Family Division

Family Law Bar Association (FLBA) National Conference: Manchester

16 October 2021



We chance upon each other, you and I, today, some three years into my term as President of the Family Division and, if I am to retire at age 70, about three years before my retirement. Reaching this notional half-way stage has caused me to pause and consider what my priorities are to be for the remainder of my time at the helm. Being “Head of Family Justice” is a very broad and busy role and, of course, I will continue to be fully involved in all aspects of the work as I have tried to be thus far; but, within that, what are my priorities – what do I want to achieve by the time that I hang up my wig and flashy robes in three years’ time?

I am not going to give you an exhaustive list. To do so would be to suggest that topics not on the list are not a priority, or that I am going to concentrate only on matters that are listed; when neither of those suggestions is the case.