Sunday Review

The week began with a story of a woman who won £220,000 in a 'ground-breaking' divorce settlement 22 years after separating from her husband, and ended with more good news for a wife when Julia McFarlane won a £100,000 a year increase in her maintenance. Neither case will do anything to alleviate the general public impression that the system favours wives.

Meanwhile, Mr Justice Coleridge has once again expressed his views on family breakdown in this country. There are those who agree wholeheartedly with those views and those who wonder whether he is simply harking back to a golden age of marriage that never really existed. As that last link indicates, I sit in the latter camp...

The alarming rise in court fees continues, although Justice Minister Bridget Prentice tries to rationalise it up by insisting that the changes "are to be introduced in order to target taxpayers’ money more effectively while helping those in financial difficulty". Oh really?

The issue of "open justice" in the family courts continues to make the headlines, with Lord Justice Ward expressing his concerns in a case involving grandparents fighting an application by the local authority for their grandson to be freed for adoption. The grandparents had been "gagged" by an injunction banning them from disclosing any documents relating to the case to any third party. Lord Justice Ward varied the terms of the injunction and gave permission for the matter to be heard by the Court of Appeal. "I don't know that you are going to win", he told the grandparents, "but you can have a crack."

Finally, Charon QC picks up on a delicious story in the News of the World today about a judge who had a nine-month 'fling' with a rent boy. Good to see that the standards of our judiciary are being upheld...


  1. I think if you put in laws with regards to co-habitation, then people with stop co-habiting. People deliberately don't marry to avoid such laws. Marrying someone against their will is not a viable solution.


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