Local Practice Note – Timetable Extensions
It has come to my attention that local practitioners are not correctly seeking, or recording the reasons for, extensions to the 26 week timetable for public law proceedings under s.32 Children Act 1989 (as amended).
Permission for extensions must be sought from the court if the case is going to proceed beyond the 26 week limit. Each extension may only be made for up to 8 weeks. Permission for any subsequent extension must also be sought; permission will only be granted for any extension if it is deemed by the court to be necessary to resolve the proceedings justly. Extensions will not be granted routinely and must be justified with proper reasons.
It is essential that the court is able to keep track of the progress of each case and the reasons for each extension granted. Advocates must be alive to the need to request extensions in the appropriate way and to properly record the reasons on the face of each order. I have issued a local practice note which will apply with immediate effect in order to ensure consistent practice and remind advocates of the need to approach each case in this way.