Monday, October 20, 2008

Sir Mark Speaks

The Times today carries an interview with President of the Family Division Sir Mark Potter. Unsurprisingly, in view of the paper's recent campaign to open up the family justice system, the piece concentrates upon Sir Mark's comments favouring the allowing of the media into certain cases ("subject to provisions to protect the anonymity of children, or indeed the parties in appropriate cases"), although Sir Mark makes it quite clear that this is primarily to deal with "largely misplaced criticisms of 'secret justice'". (In a separate article the paper informs us that Justice Secretary Jack Straw will be announcing changes next month which will open up family courts to "public scrutiny".)

All of which may be interesting, but of just as much interest to me at least are some of Sir Mark's other comments:
  • He does not favour making pre-nuptial agreements binding, but does favour "strengthening the authority" of such agreements so that "It should usually be decisive" "where the parties were legally advised at the time", save for a ""long-stop" judicial discretion for the prevention of injustice".
  • He strongly opposes "government policy to recoup the costs of running the civil and family courts through charging high fees to litigants", referring to the dramatic increases in fees for child care cases, but also anticipating "a similar damaging impact in the realm of private matrimonial disputes".
  • He supports reform of the law on cohabitees, saying that the Law Commission had made a "totally convincing case" for reform, and that he was disappointed that the Government had shelved the Commission's proposals.


  1. Year on year on year STRATEGICALLY announced TALK about transparency and lies regarding no wrongdoings in the secretive ulterior motivated UK Family Courts, publicised by the wider media, giving FALSE impressions of change that has TODATE NOT BEEN DELIVERED. In the meantime, ALL OUR CHILDREN continue suffer and its business as usual for the incompatible wrongdoings of the relentless administerial engine of the Family Courts and the legal professions for lucrative financial reward and power. Root and branch reform was due centuries ago, and sadly still remains the case today in 2008. I guarantee more strategic 'do nothing' comments will be made in the years to follow... Take action now by signing the UN petition to stop this abuse to OUR CHILDREN at

  2. Thanks, Raj. I take it you don't like the system?


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