Report No. 83
1.15. Developments in procedure-Experts to assist the Court.-
These developments in the substantive sphere have been matched by the evolution of certain procedural devices which are mainly intended to ensure that the guiding principle that the welfare of the child is paramount, is properly applied and adequately implemented in practice. To some such belief may be attributed the movement for the appointment of experts to assist the Court in assessing the welfare of the child and the movement for appointing a child advocate.1
In England, for example, all courts have power to call for an independent report, on matters relevant to the welfare of the child. This service is provided in the High Court and the divorce court by the welfare officer, who is generally the principal probation officer for the area. Although the service is utilised mostly in proceedings ancillary to divorce, it is not so confined.
1. See also para. 1.10, supra.