I don't know whether this will be a regular feature, but I thought I would draw together some of the most important items that have appeared on Family Lore Focus each week, including (if appropriate) news stories, cases, articles and blog posts.
Without doubt the biggest news story of this week was the commencement by the Law Society of judicial review proceedings in respect of the Legal Services Commission's family tender. The Law Society is seeking a declaration that the family tender process and outcome are ‘unlawful’, and asking for a suspension of the new contracts. There is disappointment all round, with the Law Society saying that they are disappointed that the LSC refuses to acknowledge the detrimental effect that the tender will have on families, and the LSC expressing disappointment that the Law Society has indicated that they are issuing proceedings, with the uncertainty that such proceedings will cause.
Meanwhile, Nearly Legal has pointed out a remarkable shifting of the goalposts by the LSC, which he feels could be the basis for a challenge to the tender. I passed on his findings in this post, and the position seems to be perfectly summed up by a commenter who has been adversely affected by the tender, and says: "I have seen some mad things in my 30 years as a legal aid lawyer but we have now plunged over the edge into an abyss of lunacy". Quite.
Elsewhere, it has been a fairly typically quiet August week. On Monday the BBC Panorama programme reported on the child abuse 'nightmare' of Jake and Victoria Ward, a case that will be familiar to all family lawyers. Lucy Reed at Pink Tape expertly reviewed the programme in this post.
Lastly, two stories that perhaps wouldn't have surfaced if there had been more 'real' news about (and hopefully won't surface again): a 'top professor' arguing for irreversible sterilisation for parents who abuse their children, and a novelist calling for a two-child limit for 'the poor'. No wonder they call it the 'silly season'...