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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

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

The obsequies of monsters: case comment on Oldham Metropolitan BC v Makin

In this guest post Barbara Rich discusses  the judgment of the English High Court on the disposal of the body and funeral ceremony of Ian Stewart-Brady in Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council v Robin Makin [2017] EWHC 2543 (Ch); [2017] WLR(D) 670   Reginald (“Reggie”) Kray, the survivor of the notorious twin brother criminals who flourished in the East Continue reading

Case comment: Re Nichol – an unsent text message as a valid will

Guest post by Barbara Rich On 11 October 2017, this headline appeared on the BBC news website.  The story naturally aroused a lot of interest and discussion.  The traditional need for formality (two witnesses present at the same time to witness the signature of the person making the will) in creating a valid will is one of those Continue reading

Family law: A child’s view, a child’s set of court rules

Guest post by David Burrows Child’s involvement in proceedings: ‘child’s perspective’ United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) Art 12.1 requires that signatories (of which the UK is one) “shall assure to the child who is capable of forming his or her own views the right to express those views freely in Continue reading

The Rule of Law and Open Justice

 Guest post by James Keeley The rule of law keeps us from chaos. It accepts who we are as human beings embracing our ethnicity, our sexuality and our abilities as well as our limitations. Through it we are given the chance to speak freely so long as we do so without prejudice and without harming Continue reading

Family law: Mrs Owens – a divorce in 2017

The concept of “no fault divorce” has gained traction in recent years, but the recent case of Owens v Owens and the image it conjures up of a wife trapped in a loveless marriage has concentrated people’s minds on the issue. As the case heads towards a further appeal hearing in the Supreme Court, David Continue reading

Family Law No Island: Legal professional privilege and family law

Continuing his series discussing the impact on family law and practice of legal developments in other areas, David Burrows considers the effect of legal professional privilege in the context of advice given by lawyers to those engaged in family law disputes and the circumstances in which the right to confidentiality of such advice may be Continue reading

Family Law No Island: Partial disclosure of material in family proceedings

Continuing his series discussing the impact on family law and practice of legal developments in other areas, David Burrows considers the grounds on which one party in proceedings may restrict the disclosure to one or more other parties of documents and other materials before the court, and the scope and procedure for doing so. Disclosure and Continue reading