News Update: 11th September 2012

WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.

Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements
Following its 2012 consultation on marital property agreements, the Law Commission has opened a supplementary consultation on needs and non-matrimonial property. About time they sorted out the mess of case law since the MCA! The Law Commission has produced a video and podcast, which can be watched and listened to on my post, below this one.

All-round roasting for family justice reforms
The Law Society Gazette reports that: "MPs, judges and expert practitioners yesterday condemned the government’s planned legal aid cuts and family justice reforms, warning that the fiscal imperative driving them will harm children." For example, Plaid Cymru MP and barrister Elfyn Llwyd told a seminar on the future of family justice that the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act is "likely to be detrimental to families, detrimental to access to justice and probably contrary to article 6 rights and others which come into play when a fair trial of issues is not afforded" and that mediation, the government’s proposed solution to problems, is not a silver bullet and will not work for the vast majority of cases. Strong stuff. See also the Law Society's response to the shared parenting consultation, referred to below.

Nagalro responds to call for views on sibling groups and contact with children in care
Nagalro has responded to two government discussion papers, initiated by Martin Narey, seeking views on important aspects of the care and adoption systems.

Domestic violence pilot scheme gives women 'right to know'
"A pilot scheme known as Clare's Law, which gives women the ''right to know'' if a partner has a history of domestic violence, begins today." (In fact, the pilot has been running since July, and is just being extended.) Full story: The Telegraph.

Legislative presumption of shared parenting ‘flawed’
Government plans to introduce a legislative presumption of shared parenting could undermine child welfare and increase the volume of litigation, according to the Law Society.

Muslim tycoon in divorce fight over affair 'allowed under Sharia Law'
"An unfaithful millionaire Muslim businessman believes his estranged wife does not deserve a divorce payout, because polygamy is allowed under Sharia Law, a British court heard today." Full story: The Telegraph.

A v A [2012]
Judgment on the issue of reporting restrictions in financial remedy proceedings (apparently the first such case). Order made prohibiting disclosure of any information in respect of the proceedings, save for specified matters. Full report: Family Law Week.

Singh v Singh & anor [2012] EWHC 615 (Ch) (21 February 2012)
Case in which the claimant father claimed that there is a constructive trust affecting all property held in the name of his son the first defendant, arising from the Hindu Joint Family System and the principles of Mitakshara. Full report: Family Law Week.

Lessons from Singapore
"Although for years, even decades, it has been countries such as Australia which have led the way in developments in family law and practice, that role is now also being increasingly adopted by new, developing jurisdictions." Says David Hodson on Family Law.

Japan fails to adopt Hague child abduction Convention
"Mikiko Otani, one of Japan's leading family lawyers, has today, 7 September, 2012, confirmed to the IAML annual conference in Singapore that Japan will not be signing the Hague child abduction Convention in the near future, at least a year as a minimum." More from David Hodson on Family Law.

Finance and Divorce September Update
Anna Heenan, solicitor and David Salter, Joint Head of Family Law at Mills & Reeve LLP analyse July’s financial remedies and divorce news and cases. Full article: Family Law Week.

Delays in the family justice system
How often has it been said that delay is the cancer which eats away at our system of justice? An article by District Judge Christopher Vokes in the Law Society Gazette.

Children: Private Law Update (September 2012)
Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers those judgments of the last few months which are of most importance in the area of private law children proceedings. Full article: Family Law Week.

has a point been spectacularly missed? (warning, contains some maths)
The LSC have decided that from 1st October 2012, any application for Prior Authority on experts will be refused (unless it is a request which goes above the codified hourly rates). Suesspiciousminds examines the effect of this. (Oh, by the way, it's Stephen Hawking.)

A few words about the private law draft legislation on Family Justice
Further to my earlier post announcing the publication of draft legislation introducing changes to the operation of the family justice system as recommended by the Family Justice Review, I make a few comments upon the private law provisions.

As one door closes another opens
Lucy Reed's response to the shared parenting consultation. Full post: Pink Tape.

finally, something to get our teeth into
The Government have published their proposed legislation to bring about the Family Justice Review. Suesspiciousminds looks at the public law provisions.