High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge retires

Court of Protection

Occasionally controversial High Court judge Sir Paul Coleridge has retired to focus on campaigning against marriage breakdown.

Appointed to the High Court in 2000, Sir Paul went on to found charity the Marriage Foundation, which works to “champion long-lasting, stable relationships within marriage”.

In December last year, he was given a formal warning by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office after discussing his views on marriage with the Times and Telegraph newspapers.

He criticised the warning, claiming that it was “a disproportionate and unfair reaction to a few lines in two newspapers.”

Speaking at a retirement event held in the Royal Courts of Justice, the former Mr Justice Coleridge said:

“I know how consoling and good a good marriage can be and how it gets better over the years and also how ghastly family breakdown can be. Something can and should be done to stem the tide of family breakdown. Family judges have a unique experience of this and therefore a unique contribution to make. We should not be afraid to speak out.”

He continued:

“I cannot sit here day after day watching misery and doing nothing.”

According to a report in the Telegraph, the retirement event was attended by Family Division President Sir James Munby, the most senior family law judge in England and Wales.

Photo of the Royal Courts of Justice by Ben Sutherland via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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8 comments

stefan Ray austin - May 17, 2015 at 10:37pm

I need help seeing my daughter who do o got to this judge was so understanding I what fully custody
My daughter don’t won’t to live with her mum I have to give my 6 years old girl a phone due to her mum’s lake of communication that only the tip of the iceberg plz help me I Need justice

Luke - May 18, 2015 at 3:59pm

Coleridge’s hopes for the future of marriage are extremely unrealistic, however, he did say the following:-
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“The profession has made its fortune from marital breakdown; it is now time to put something in”
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I think what he says cannot be denied, but as far as I can see the only thing the legal profession wants to put “in” is cohabitation law so that the fortune can continue 🙂

Nordic - May 18, 2015 at 9:05pm

Former justice Coleridge was a senior representative of the most brutal, confrontative and destructive family court system anywhere In Western Europe. If he really wanted to help families and children, he could have raised his voice against the grotesque money machine family law has become in this jurisdiction. He could have promoted firm guidelines for financial settlements to avoid all the acrimony and conflict unnecessarily inflicted on families by the total uncertainty created by our court centric approach. He could have acknowlegded the huge responsibility the courts have for the current disasteous state of affairs.
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But the good (former) justice did none of that. Instead, he moralises about the virtues of matrimony like a Texan religious preacher on an obscure pay channel wishing the world to return to the 1950s when life made sense (at least to the former justice).
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May he do the rest of us a favour and go quietly into his autumn years. May we never hear such nonsense again.

Bolchedik - May 18, 2015 at 9:59pm

Sounds like forced retirement. That’s usually what happens these days when you don’t behave like a sheep.

The Marriage Foundation is a daft idea that should be seen for what it is. Little more than a guilty conscience over a profession that profits when two people are put into a ring as in an animal fight.

Michael nevill - October 4, 2016 at 11:34pm

I would like advice from this amazing man who sees that this is a big issue and I need advice as my ex partner stopped me seeing my children nearly a year ago when I came back from the forces I’m going back to the forces in January 2017 and would like an email address so I can forward on my paper work about my case with my ex partner, I’ve tried mediation and everything to see my children and it’s got me know where. I cannot stand this pain any longer, I miss my children everyday. Please help me. Your sincerely Michael Nevill

Cameron Paterson - October 5, 2016 at 9:21am

Sir Paul now runs campaign group the Marriage Foundation (marriagefoundation.org.uk/)

JamesB - October 5, 2016 at 10:45am

Sadly I agree with the other comments on here. Especially Bolchedik’s comment which is quite brilliant and hits the spot like Robin Hood.

With re to the marriage foundation, I think a grassroots organisation rather than an establishment top down organisation is due. Perhaps something like club 18 30 , I think the Judges rather shot the FnF F4J fox by giving them access to their children so they are seeing their children rather than campaigning.

So, what is the campaign to be? Shared Parenting 50 / 50? Pre nups? Abolition of the CSA? Anti immigration? For me it should be pro shared care and a drinking and socialising club.

JamesB - October 5, 2016 at 10:55am

Pro shared care 50:50 and a drinking and socialising club.

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