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In conversation with… Her Honour Judge Carole Burgher

Join us as we talk to Her Honour Judge (HHJ) Carole Burgher about the problem-solving Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC); the need for the family justice system to address inequalities; and the roles ethnicity, religion and culture play in the different experiences of children and families.

HHJ Burgher has dedicated her career to being an advocate for vulnerable children and young people, and to challenging social inequalities.

For over 23 years, she was a solicitor member of the Law Society Children’s Panel and represented children and families in public and private family law proceedings in Birmingham and across the West Midlands.

HHJ Burgher became a full-time District Judge in 2014, working in the County and Family Court in Milton Keynes. She was one of the first two district judges appointed to sit in the new FDAC created in Milton Keynes in 2014 – the third such court to be set up in the UK. HHJ Burgher was instrumental in creating the Birmingham and Solihull FDAC – the UK’s 12th FDAC, which opened in March 2021 as a two-year pilot. She is the lead FDAC Judge at the court. Evaluations have found that FDACs have been more successful than ordinary care proceedings in helping parents abstain from drugs and alcohol, thus enabling more children to be reunified with their parents.

Prior to her legal career, Carole Burgher worked as a Youth and Community Worker. She also worked for the Newham Monitoring Project, a grassroots community-based anti-racism organisation where she supported the victims of racial harassment. She was one of the first Black members of the Law Society Children’s Panel in Birmingham and the first British born African-Caribbean Circuit Judge to sit in the Family Court on the Midland Circuit.

The Nuffield Family Justice Observatory aims to find and fill knowledge gaps, highlight areas where change will have the biggest impact and foster collaboration to make that change happen. Find out more here.

This new ‘In conversation with…’ series will bring you leading thinkers, experts, practitioners and those with lived experience for frank discussions on a variety of themes related to children and families in the family justice system.

Questions from the audience are welcomed before and during the discussions and all the talks will be recorded and added to the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory’s Events page and YouTube channel shortly afterwards.

Watch the discussion

  • Headshot of Lisa Harker.
    Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
  • Picture of HHJ Carole Burgher
    HHJ Carole Burgher
    Circuit Judge and lead Family Drug and Alcohol Court (FDAC) Judge at the Birmingham and Solihull FDAC