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Disclosure and the family lawyer – Part 1

Disclosure: reliance of the family law on common law and civil proceedings rule “Disclosure” has had extensive press recently, mostly in relation to criminal proceedings. In the more narrow legal press, it is of concern to civil lawyers, especially in the burgeoning field of electronic disclosure and electronic access to documents and other material. Family Continue reading

Inheritance disputes and the media: making wishes come untrue

In this guest post, Barbara Rich explains how the Daily Mail missed an opportunity to explain the essential rights of a cohabitant to ask the court to make reasonable provision for her under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, rather than describing the case as a judge simply overturning the deceased’s wishes Continue reading

Domestic abuse: a Government consultation and a short history

As the Home Office gets involved in the government’s plans to tackle domestic abuse, David Burrows considers the terms of the current consultation and looks back over the somewhat uneven history of dealing with the problem since the 1970s. Transforming society’s response to domestic abuse A domestic abuse Bill may finally be in prospect. A Continue reading

Family law: ‘Injury to public morals’ – 2018 style

David Burrows considers an old scandal and an even older statute in the context of a persisting impediment on the ability of the press to print lurid accounts of the private lives of those involved in defended divorce disputes. A modern protection for public morals A flurry of tweets and blog traffic earlier this month Continue reading

Solicitor’s retainer and professional privilege after S v S

David Burrows considers practitioner issues arising in a recent case in which a husband applied for an injunction to prevent a firm of solicitors, with whom he had previously had a preliminary consultation, from acting for his wife in divorce proceedings between them, and ponders an unexplained reference to ‘skull painting’…   The ‘blasé’ evidence Continue reading

Family law: capacity to consent

By David Burrows Consent: mental capacity and understanding What does ‘consent’ mean when applied to such situations as living apart for two years and consenting to a divorce; consent of a birth parent to adoption; or consent to the terms of a pre-nuptial agreement or settlement of matrimonial financial negotiations? This article looks at two Continue reading

How Court of Protection judges decide best interests in end of life cases

In this guest post, Tor Butler-Cole explains how judges have approached end of life decisions in recent cases in the Court of Protection. Although aimed primarily at a medical readership, it provides a useful introduction for anyone unfamiliar with this type of case. Prompted by interesting discussions with doctors on Twitter, and because it isn’t possible to Continue reading

Flirting with judicial activism? Case comment on David v Hosany

A  judge sitting in the High Court has taken judicial activism to new levels by effectively laying down the law on flirting at work. Or so you might think, after reading a report of one of his judgments in The Times. [Spoiler: he has done no such thing.] In an article entitled “High Court judge Continue reading

‘The Right to Justice’: political slogan or something more sinister?

David Burrows questions the idea that politicians can grant a “right to justice”, as opposed to providing the means of access (such as legal aid) or removing the obstacles (such as excessive court fees) to a right we already have.     The Right to Justice  (Fabian Policy Report, September 2017 ) (the Report) produced by an informal Continue reading