Charon QC podcast with Natasha Phillips

It's a rare thing for Charon QC to dip into the murky waters of family law, but today he has published a podcast with my LoreCast co-presenter Natasha Phillips (left), in which they discuss a range of topical family law issues, including no-fault divorce, gay marriage, forced marriage and the problem of troubled families. You can listen to the podcast here.


  1. I just listened to this over the weekend. I do find it difficult to argue against the common liberal principles and policies expressed.

    I will try though by making one thought through observation.

    It's like not being able to have economic union without politicl union, there are some unpleasant truths underlying the polite views expressed in this podcast.

    The main one being, that if you have No Fault Divorce, you undermine marriage by effectively making it legalised prostitution and the rest, including the vows valueless.

    Not that I disagree with that, although I do with the EU, I just think people should be upfront in what they are arguing and less Tony Blair like with their smoke and mirrors.

  2. Northern Lights18 June 2012 at 22:23

    I was curious to know how you were going to link some dots up there and there are quite a few of them. I guess you lost me with the No Fault Divorce= legalised prostitution bit.
    We just don't value guilt and shame anymore, do we?

    1. Yes, I didn't like to say anything, but I also couldn't quite follow that logic!

  3. Ok, I'll try and make my point a bit clearer, and "join the dots" a bit. Was in a hurry yesterday.

    If you have no fault divorce, then basically there is no point in having any marriage vows as they are worthless. Essentially you are making the whole thing a business transaction. Do I really need to spell it out any further? Don't mean to be facetious, that's a sincere question.

    Also, while I am here, where does guilt and shame come in? Not relevant in no fault divorce, are they worthwhile emotions in your mind NL? For what? Regards.

  4. Mind you, you could argue, and I would (I have 2 daughters), that traditional marriage was akin to slavery. Perhaps it is no bad thing the decline in marriage. Out of 20 I think only about 1 or two seem happy to me and I like everyone to be happy, I'm a bit of a hippy like that.

    1. Strangely, I wouldn't argue that traditional marriage was akin to slavery.

  5. Out of every 20 marriages I see that was.

  6. are you married, or have you been John?

    1. Please don't ask personal questions here.

  7. Northern Lights19 June 2012 at 22:30

    So, to summarise…

    Traditional marriage = slavery

    No Fault Divorce = legalised prostitution.

    90 – 95% of your married friends are (in your view) unhappy with their lot. (be a gent and buy them a copy of John’s book- you’ll save them a fortune)

    You’re a hippie.

    Is it just me or has the number of dots and the gaps between them grown?

  8. Northern Lights19 June 2012 at 22:56

    On a serious note,there is no argument against No Fault Divorce that cannot be traced back to religious morality.
    While at least two of the facts to be shown to prove that the marriage has irretrievably broken down(adultery&intolerability and the behaviour of the respondent) require a formality of mud slinging and accusations, I think most judges don’t particularly want to listen to them. At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s over and the sooner the parties put their affairs in order and move on, the better; not least for any children of the marriage who are harmed by the acrimony.
    It reminds me of that gag about Moses coming down from the mountain with the commandments and addressing the crowd: “I’ve got good news and bad news people. The good news is I’ve got him down to ten. The bad news is adultery is still on the table.”

    1. Most judges are definitely not interested in mud slinging, a fact that many divorce litigants find hard to grasp.

      Love the Moses gag! :-)

  9. It wasn't a personal question and was a relevant question.

    With re the mud slinging, if a barrister does it, it gets ignored, if a LIP does it the Judge will have a right go at you, its a bit of a members club court, and yes that is a criticism as it is prohibitively expensive to join and therefore preventing poorer people from getting married. Which in my view is not a bad thing with no fault divorce meaning marriage isn't worth anything.

    I am not contradicting myself and it is a serious subject NL, I do not think that there are gaps between the dots, I think you don't like what I am saying and deliberately smudging it and pretending to not understand. I will clarify further but if you need any more clarification, please advise where.

    So, to clarify, Unreasonable Behaviour should be dropped as a ground for divorce. The CSA should be dropped and child maintenance should be a matter for family court again. Gay marriage, yes, why not. Think that about summarises my position on how to get a happier society.

    Yes, I agree with your post NL, opposition to no fault divorce is from religion and it was the Church of England who have objected to it's introduction and is why we have the sham, sitting on the fense situation that we do. BUT I agree with them and would rather have the Archbishop writing laws then popularist politicians, so there you go, no fudging the issue.

    You can't have a society without religion, it will fall apart and that is where you and John are wrong and where those who propose such a thing as no fault divorce and secularism are wrong and will fail.

    There can be no separation of church and state, that's where the USSR failed, and where the USA are failing, as in Afghanistan. There has to be a meaning to life and secularism and worshipping money isn't it (it says so in the bible).

    I am not a massively religious person, but I think you two and many lawyers need to turn to God more. In a thousand years, I think that secularism will be a historical, failed idea. Think thats it for now and I have at least come of the fence, which is more than the Government will do on this (no fault divorce) issue. Plus, yes, liked the Moses joke. Thought Charlton Heston played the part well also. Regards.

  10. I don't understand why you wont answer the question John, it does undermine your position completely that you won't talk about yourself at all.

  11. To join the dots and avoid confusion (doubt), I have at least come off the fence, rather than of the fence (was a metaphor for my position on this issue, rather than a name of who I am);-). Ducking issues and questions is unhelpful. Time will tell, but in the meantime I think society is struggling with these laws.

  12. Northern Lights20 June 2012 at 11:29

    Oh dear. We now have secularism (in a thousand years time, I suspect it won't be called that-it will be a common sense given), discrimination against unrepresented mud-slingers, oil wars, a re-write of 20th and 21st century history and the perils of a society without an incumbent sky-pixie.
    Have I missed anything?

    I do like the idea of "Lawyers for Jesus", though.

    Actually, on reflection, perhaps not........

  13. The perils of a society without an incumbent sky-pixie. Now we're talking. I like the sound of that and Lawyers for Jesus, cheers. . .

  14. p.s. Careful you don't get struck down by lightening for your blasphemy ;-).

  15. p.s. Common sense doesn't exist in family law, never has done, never will do.


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