Sunday, September 16, 2012

Law Makers: Who makes family law in this country?

Looking at the Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements consultation this week got me thinking: who makes family law in this country?

With the consultation following hard on the heels of other initiatives for reform, including the Munro Review and the Family Justice Review, greater change is happening to family law in this country than for many a year, but who exactly is behind that change?

I don't mean the politicians, but rather the people responsible for putting new law together: the judges, the legal advisers and the academics involved in the process. They may not have the final say on new law, but they do have a significant influence upon the outcome: promoting some proposals, encouraging the discarding of others and perhaps even coming up with new proposals themselves.

Accordingly, I thought it might be interesting to know who these people are, so I have decided to write an occasional series of posts entitled Law Makers, in which I will give short biographies of some of those who are or have been involved in the recent reform initiatives. I hope to publish the first post in the series in the next few days.


  1. In response to your question, I would venture that it is economists who make family law. It certainly isn't anyone who cares about child welfare, otherwise children would not be treated like commodities.

    Can someone here answer why, for instance, Norgrove was chosen to be central in these reforms? What experience on the ground with families and children qualified him?

    Also, can anyone here answer why shared parenting represents such a threat to the status quo and the establishment? (That is, can anyone answer this without resorting to the usual gender hatred myths that all fathers are violent miserly deadbeats?)

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      As to your first point, I think you will find that many of the people I mention in this series care passionately about child welfare.

      I intend to do a post about David Norgrove in this series, which will hopefully answer your second point.

      As to your last point, I suggest you read the final report of the Family Justice Review for their reasons for opting against a shared parenting presumption - I don't recall their arguments involving gender hatred.

  2. I'm sorry John, you may be an exception, but I have seen way too much to disgust me for the rest of my years to sympathize with your view that people in the field care about child welfare.

    If that were so, there would be no hostility toward shared parenting.

    There are no arguments against shared parenting except malicious and economically motivated ones.

    1. Well, you are entitled to your views.

  3. I think one of your news items this morning was about the criminalization of "men", about prosecuting "men" for restricting women access to money and their friends.

    Relationships don't work like this though, none that I know of anyway, and when they do, I would think it is usually the women in control of these things. It just goes to show that "men" rather than women are being vilified for forms of abuse that sound totally alien to them.

    Never mind, of course, the fact that such a law is really being passed for base economic motives again. After all, this is really about not wanting to restrict rampant consumerism in a time of recession, isn't it? I suspect that was the vapid argument that persuaded the boneheads to pass such a silly sexist law.

    And I see that the lawyers are already parading it. Go figure....

    1. Firstly, could you please post comments below the post to which you are referring.

      Secondly, I think the law to which you are referring will apply equally to men and women.

      With respect, the argument in your third paragraph is laughable.

  4. Come on John. At the end of the day, we all know that everything is economically driven in Britain.

    I'm glad you were amused.

    Also, you know that no man on the planet would be silly enough to go to the police and say, Mr Constable, my partner is not allowing me to spend my money.

    Let's get real. These laws are not passed to protect people. They are passed in order to empower the controlling behavior of certain interest groups, which can then justify asking for more government funding.

    Furthering acrimony is very profitable too.

    Dishonesty and cruelty seem to abound in your world.

    1. Ah, I've just realised you are being satirical - excellent!

      Sorry I was somewhat slow on the uptake!

  5. There is nothing better than satire to expose hypocrisy in law, is there?

    Have you seen this new video yet?

    1. So you were being satirical! (For a moment then I was beginning to worry about you.)

  6. No need to be pedantic on the question of satire.

    You posed a question above: who makes law?

    I challenge you to prove me wrong about it being economically driven and influenced by powerful interest groups whose sole purpose is to promote the kind of acrimony that is damaging to kids.

  7. Predictable response, but not very satisfactory, I'm afraid.

    I thought that criticizing something as being a conspiracy was only something that Tories did now, in order to deflect criticism. It's a good strategy, and usually works on an uninformed public.

    1. I'm sorry, but I just can't take your arguments seriously. Perhaps you should ply them elsewhere.

  8. Sure John, I'll leave you to it then. I had just hoped that you might have been able to prove us all wrong, and demonstrate how you and your club really do have 'the best interests of children at heart'.

    1. You may wish to look at my first biography in this series, on Professor Eileen Munro, and ask why she was awarded a CBE for services to children and families.

  9. Family law is only about protecting the child benefit as the gateway benefit for women.

    The overview of the second serious case review of Baby P confirms it. Social workers excluded the father because they only support mothers under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Had they supported the child being accommodated by the father then the child benefit and all following goodies would have been available to him.

    Instead they illegally removed the child under section 20 in the desperate hope that the mother could have it with the new partner.


  10. Alastair,

    I disagree a little. It's not only about protecting child benefit. It's also about protecting men's positions in the public positions of importance, and keeping women in the kitchen. That's why you have lots of old male farts against shared parenting. Those that practice family law, like myself, have even more to gain by maintaining this power imbalance, and making sure there is as much animosity as possible.

    Just being honest here.

  11. I think we should be careful of falling into the trap of blaming family law for ills that we perceive in society. Family law, or at least family law outcomes, will always reflect the views of society as to the positions of mothers and fathers.


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