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How might our ethnicity affect our experience of the family justice system?

Authors & Organisations
Dr Charlotte Edney: Nuffield Family Justice Observatory
Dr Charlotte Edney
Nuffield Family Justice Observatory

This paper presents some important findings relating to ethnicity and the family justice system in relation to both public and private family law.
By following a child’s journey through the family justice system – before court, through court proceedings, and after court – we show that ethnic disparities exist across the spectrum. There are inequalities in referrals to social care interventions, the type of legal orders made and duration of cases, placement stability, and later educational and employment outcomes.
However, in collating these findings, we found substantial and important gaps in the published evidence. At the end of each of the three sections, we draw attention to areas we believe should be research priorities. By doing so, we hope to inspire curiosity and reflection, as well as stimulate further research in this area, which has so far been under-explored.