Naughty Naughty!

The most recent offender to be placed on Nearly Legal’s naughty step is the “family law expert” quoted in a recent Daily Mail article concerning the recent

Fawn - Courtesy of Ontario Wanderer

Fawn - Courtesy of Ontario Wanderer

Supreme Court decision in Yemshaw. Adam Wagner at the UK Human Rights Blog has also commented on the endemic problem of inaccurate legal reporting, using this case as an example. It’s a pretty good example of just that. It drives me crazy that cases are so often reported so as to give the public a wholly skewed or confused understanding of what has really happened and why – it’s not just human rights cases as pointed out by Adam. There is also a pattern of misreporting or inadequately reporting family cases. There are particular difficulties associated with reporting family cases accurately, but I’m with Thumper on this: “If you can’t say nothin’ accurate then don’t say nothin’ at all” (I’ve posted on this before, one example here). As for the article in The Mail, if it had not been so comprehensively covered by Nearly Legal and UKHR Blog I would be railing about it at length for, just like Bambi, it makes me want to weep. That the nature and seriousness of domestic violence is so little understood and appreciated should be no surprise, but it is always a shock to see it in black and white.

The Yemshaw judgment does rather bring home the impossibly inconsistent proposals in the Government’s Legal Aid Green Paper in respect of the exception on legal aid funding for victims of domestic violence in family cases, which hopes to neatly limit “domestic violence” to violence causing physical harm for the purposes of public funding, in order to avoid all those messy cases at the perimeter. It seems hardly credible now (if it ever did) that the Government can continue to gesture about it’s recognition of the need to protect the vulnerable victims of domestic violence, and can persist in its proposal to provide that protection by creating an exceptional category of persons eligible for public funding in family for victims of “domestic violence”, unless it is to embrace the definition set out in Yemshaw (which merely confirms the basis upon which we have all been working for years). I understand the desire to create a scheme that is easy to administer and understand, but the reality is that relationships are complex things, and the aspiration to have a black and white definition is in reality no more more sophisticated than a requirement for black and blue.

4 thoughts on “Naughty Naughty!

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by UK Human Rights Blog and alistair, Lucy Reed. Lucy Reed said: New blogpost on Pink Tape #familylaw: Naughty Naughty! http://pinktape.co.uk/2011/02/naughty-naughty/ […]

  2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1350761/Women-entitled-council-house-partner-shouts.html

    The Mail gets it about right in this article.

    Its a scam that has been increasingly used over the years to gain council housing by jumping to the front of the queue. Claim DV and the world’s your oyster (in housing and family law).

    No evidence needed, just say anything you like have it all funded on Legal Aid and get in front of that lovely Family Court Judge where on the balance of probabilities you as a teary eyed mother cannot possibly be telling porkies.

    State sponsored false allegations are an epidemic in Family Law and in Housing applications, all funded and supported by an industry that encourages more and more.

    The real victims are decent normal people who spend an eternity on housing lists while the liars keep jumping ahead – Oh and children who are kept from another parent for financial gain and control.

    Can we expect the Judiciary to understand this, unfortunately not as they are schooled through a law degree system and work as lawyers to put DV dogma above common sense and fairness.

    • DV isn’t real? I don’t have the energy to spell out all the ways in which I profoundly disagree with you. I wish you and the Daily Mail much happiness in your life together. You are evidently made for one another. Don’t believe everything she says though.

  3. thank the lord chambers doesn’t put ‘dogma above common sense and fairness’.

    interesting that chambers trolled the same comment at nearly legal about the article. enough! i shall feed no more.

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