I didn't intend these review posts to be a daily thing, but that's the way it's turning out at the moment...
|New Minister, old news|
reports that in a public judgment "given to highlight the 'chronic' problem of legal aid in cases of alleged international child abduction" Mr Justice Holman has called for changes to legal aid in child abduction cases, to enable the courts to keep to the 6 weeks timetable required by Article 11 (3) Brussels II Revised. He suggests that in cases where a Cafcass report is ordered, an initial grant of public funding should be made to the respondent and then reviewed upon receipt of the report. Seems very sensible, but whether the Legal Aid Agency will play ball is another matter. In this particular case the mother, a Lithuanian national with little English and no knowledge of the relevant law, was refused legal aid before the Cafcass report (which arguably assisted her case) was received, leaving her to put forward her case with no legal assistance. An adjournment was granted to enable her to appeal to the LAA, but this would take the case well beyond the 6 weeks, the court having already breached that limit in order to allow time for the mother's original legal aid application. A written version of the judgment is due to be published in mid-January.
Relate. The headline this time is that there is no such thing as a "good" divorce, according to six out of ten parents who have been through a family break-up, with more than half of those polled admitting that, despite their best efforts, the experience had had a negative effect on their children. Once again, whether this result adds anything, or anything useful, to the sum of human knowledge, I'm not sure.