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Articles tagged with: Family

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[ 27 May 2014 | Comments Off ]
Tackling child abuse: is mandatory reporting the answer?

By Declan O’Dempsey
Former Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has called for an overhaul of the law concerning safeguarding children. In a previous post I considered the current legislation and whether it goes far enough. I concluded that there is a need for a more general duty to have due regard to the need to eliminate abuse of minors over and above the existing welfare duty in s11 of the Children Act 2004.
Kier Starmer has now called for the introduction of mandatory reporting of allegations of child abuse; a …

Blog, Family, Human Rights »

[ 20 May 2014 | One Comment ]
Will there be reform for cohabiting couples?

By Seona Myerscough
The Head of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, recently held a press conference where he addressed the wide ranging reforms of the family justice system that came into force on 22 April 2014. He was also asked to look to the future.
A particular area of interest for us all were his comments on cohabiting couples and whether there will be reform for cohabiting couples?
When questioned at the conference, Sir James Munby said:
“There are various models of how a reform could work. On one model one simply applies …

Blog, Family, Legal Profession & Courts »

[ 19 Mar 2014 | Comments Off ]
Spiralling out of control: can Jackson reforms rein in family fees?

By Pamela Collis 
As set out in my previous two articles, legal fees in family proceedings have caused consternation not only in the legal press (most recently with Shield v Shield where costs exceeding £1m pounds arose simply to resolve preliminary issues), but also in the popular press (with Young v Young hitting the headlines when £6.5m was spent by one side alone).
Despite the strictures of the Family Procedure Rules and subsequent practice directions, disproportionate costs still seem to arise on an all too common basis.
The Jackson reforms did not apply …

Blog, Family, Legal Profession & Courts »

[ 12 Mar 2014 | Comments Off ]
Why an inquisitorial system for family courts won’t work

By Lorna Borthwick
The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas, delivered a speech last week in which he radically called for a judge-led inquisitorial system to be considered for family and civil courts.
He commented that, within the family law arena, the current adversarial method of dealing with cases was ill-suited to both the types of cases seen there and the significant numbers of litigants in person who now make up large numbers of the users of that system.
The rise in unrepresented parties is undoubtedly a significant challenge for courts, particularly in contested …

Blog, Family »

[ 11 Mar 2014 | Comments Off ]
Statutory backing for pre-nups – a welcome proposal

By Collette Bailey
The Law Commission began in 2009 to examine the status and enforceability of marital property agreements, which we refer to as pre-nups. Pre-nups do not currently have statutory backing, but this may be about to change.
In their report published on 27 February 2014, the Law Commission recommended the introduction of legally binding “qualifying nuptial agreements”. The report, Matrimonial Property Needs and Agreements, includes a draft bill which would bring pre-nups into law.
Whilst many couples resolve their finances without contested court proceedings, for others the court has to decide …