Notable things this week:
Mercifully, it has been a somewhat quieter week family law-wise this week than last. Nevertheless, there have still been one or two things worthy of comment...
Perhaps the biggest 'family law' related story this week involved a certain celebrity putting his hand around the neck of his celebrity wife. Now, such things would not normally be broadcast to the world, and I'm not sure that I accept the media argument that the fact that they are celebrities gives us the 'right to know'. Leaving that issue aside, the publication of the pictures sparked much heated debate, generally dividing between those who sought to downplay the incident and those who thought it was rather more serious. Whatever, at least there seems to be one good thing that has come out of it: a greater awareness of the issue of domestic violence.
Moving on, we have been told that divorce reduces average expected retirement income. Who would have guessed? Clearly the answer to the problem is for all divorcees to take out a pension plan with Prudential, who carried out the research which brought us this piece of shocking news.
response to the Transforming Legal Aid consultation has warned that the government's plans to further restrict legal aid will have adverse consequences, 'risking injustice and miscarriages of justice'. Tellingly, the response also criticised the lack of a proper evaluation of the changes already introduced by LASPO.
Another decision open to criticism is that of Fathers4Justice who, as Lucy Reed at Pink Tape points out, have opened a website to name and shame “contact deniers - parents, solicitors, judges, Cafcass officers, MP’s and any other parties involved in contact denial and the forcible separation of children from their fathers“. I had a quick look at the site but can't link to it now (even if I wanted to, which obviously I do not), as F4J have since chosen to password-protect it. Probably for the best.
Moving away from family law, I only recall appearing before a stipe on one occasion, but I remember my father telling me about them when he was a clerk at Old Street and Wells Street in the early 70s. Pretty formidable they could be too, so this short article in the Obiter section of the Gazette this week, explaining how difficult it could be to get them to grant legal aid, brought back memories.
Lastly, and nothing to do with law at all, I'm not sure I've ever 'favorited' a tweet before, but I felt compelled to do so with this one, which made me laugh out loud:
Do BBC hacks get special training in standing outside London Private Hospitals spouting buttock clenching toadying guff?Expect much more of the same from the BBC over the coming month...
— Peter Smith (@Redpeter99) June 19, 2013