Straw backs down over appointment of Wall

It seems that Justice Secretary Jack Straw has been forced into a humiliating climbdown over the appointment of the next President of the Family Division. Yesterday, only five days before the current President Sir Mark Potter stands down, the Government announced that Sir Nicholas Wall, the appointment panel's original choice, would, after all, be the next President.

This whole fiasco seems to me to demonstrate a fault in the new appointment system. As he did not veto the appointment, Straw will not now have to explain his reasons for opposing Wall, but whatever they were he would be criticised for politicising the appointment, as Family Law Newswatch states. This would make it difficult for any appointment to be vetoed, which makes the right to veto fairly pointless.

Anyway, leaving that aside, the good news is that we have the first choice candidate for our next President. There are huge challenges ahead for the family justice system, and I wish him well.


  1. Boooh.

    Well, I wish him well also I suppose, the courts are a mess and the people work there under-motivated, but his Neanderthal views as I understand them on opening up the Family Law Courts do not bode well for the future.

  2. p.s. It is an outrage that the Judges over-rule the elected representatives. I mean, average person on the street has no faith in these places and no say in changing them according to what you write. I hope it is not that bad. Perhaps just Jack Straw meaking a mess for the Tories out of spite. Hope so, from his comments on opening up the courts, a very poor appointment.


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