Lawyers are good for children

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December 18, 2017 7 comments

family law

Or: we all like to say “I told you so”! Sometimes in life something is so self-evident that you really can’t understand why other people think differently. In such cases it is really satisfying when you come across independent confirmation that you were, indeed, right. The temptation to say “I told you so” can then…

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Magistrates rue family law legal aid cuts

December 18, 2017 1 comment

family law

More than two thirds of the parties involved in family court cases are now unrepresented, magistrates report. In an analysis of recent family disputes heard in members’ courts by the Magistrates Association, 68 per cent of the participants were identified as unrepresented litigants in person: an increase of no less than 27 per cent in…

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Limitless non-molestation orders ‘wrong in principle’

January 23, 2017 1 comment

non-molestation orders

Non-molestation injunctions issued without a specified time limit are “wrong in principle” the President of the Family Court has insisted. Such injunctions, popularly known as ‘non-mols’, are issued in family disputes where one party alleges that the other has been abusive or violent. The person subject to the injunction can be arrested and imprisoned if…

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Children’s rights, Cafcass figures and more

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January 13, 2017 0 comments

family law

A week in family law Perhaps it has something to do with the time of year, but there haven’t been an awful lot of family law stories of importance this week. Still, I have come up with the following. The continuing saga of the problem of alleged perpetrators of domestic violence cross-examining their alleged victims…

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Magistrates warn of children’s rights ‘threat’

January 10, 2017 0 comments

family law

The legal rights of children could be under threat if local authorities are allowed to opt out of their obligations, a group of magistrates have claimed. This warning comes in response to a section of the Children and Social Work Bill which is currently making its way through Parliament. The Magistrates Association (MA), a charity…

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Magistrate calls for younger, more diverse colleagues

October 19, 2016 15 comments

family law

Younger, more ethnically diverse magistrates should be recruited, one of the youngest justices of the peace in England claims. Alex Yip was appointed at just 27 years old. Now 34, he has said that although he “work[s] with a lot of very talented people … they are old and white”. The statistics back him up,…

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Magistrates decry domestic violence court fees

September 10, 2015 1 comment

domestic violence

Mandatory court charges in domestic violence cases punish victims and perpetrators alike, a group of magistrates have claimed. Currently, anyone who pleads guilty to domestic violence at a Magistrates’ court faces a £150 fine. If they are found guilty after a trial, that can rise up to £1,000. This has created an incentive for innocent…

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Family Division President bans unlimited injunctions

October 15, 2014 5 comments

children in care

The President of the Family Division has banned the practice of issuing ex parte injunctions without a time limit. So called ex parte orders are issued for the benefit of one party without prior notice being given to the other party. Examples include non-molestation orders, which prohibit certain actions on the part of spouses, partners,…

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Magistrates complain of ‘impossible two tier system’

June 2, 2014 10 comments

Magistrates have complained of an increasing inequality in the court system between those who have legal representation and those who do not. A sample of 461 magistrates across the UK were polled in a survey conducted by the Independent on Sunday and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. A decisive 97 per cent of the magistrates…

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