Financial implications of the Bill
17. FGM protection orders were introduced on 17 July 2015. Since then, family courts have dealt with a relatively small frequency of FGM cases each year.
18. It is not known how many cases currently need to be adjourned for care proceedings to commence in the family court. In the 12 months to September 2016, 63 FGMPOs were made, in the 12 months to September 2017, 98 FGMPOs were made and in the 12 months to 2018, 117 orders were made. 1 It is not possible to estimate the proportion of FGM cases that would be impacted by this policy. However, the relatively low frequency of cases does imply that, regardless of the proportion of these cases impacted by care proceedings, the overall volume of cases impacted is likely to be small.
19. We expect that there will be one-off familiarisation costs for the agencies involved in FGM cases in family courts (Local Authorities, LAA, Cafcass, HMCTS, Judges, as well as others involved in FGMPO proceedings).
20. For those cases in which this applies, it is expected that family court hearings would be reduced as care proceedings would now be able to be heard alongside FGMPO hearings. This could reduce adjournments and improve timeliness in these cases.
21. Overall, it is expected that the overall financial impact of this policy is likely to be minimal, given the relatively low frequency of FGMPO cases in family courts.
1 Family Court Statistics Quarterly