Baroness Deech continues her monthly onslaught against the family justice system today with the latest of her public lectures as professor of law at Gresham College, London. According to the Telegraph, the theme of today's lecture will be that English law no longer has a clear concept of marriage.
Lady Deech will apparently quote the legal definition of marriage as the “voluntary union for life of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others”, and will go on to say that: “Such is the transformation of family law and family life that not one word of this remains true.” In support of her argument she will give the reasons why she thinks the number of marriages has fallen to its lowest level since 1895. I shall deal with each of these in turn, with my own comments:
- Religion is a waning force: Excellent news - perhaps reason may take over from superstition.
- Women have financial independence: This is a bad thing??
- There is state support for lone parents: I would like to think that there would be in any civilised society.
- Children are no longer classified as illegitimate: Thank goodness, too, that children are no longer saddled with this archaic stigma, through no fault of their own
- Divorce is easy: I'm sure that many divorcees would disagree. In any event, a survey released only last week indicated that most people do not believe that making it harder would preserve many marriages (and may only prolong the agony of unhappy marriages).
- There is no recrimination over sex and birth out of wedlock: 'Recrimination'? Does she want a return to the bad old days when young women and girls were ostracised by their families for falling pregnant?