Open Sesame

Looking back I appear not to have posted about Jack Straw’s December announcement about the opening of the family courts, although I have since posted on the topic here and here. Although I’m sure I prepared a post on this announcement I suspect it went the way of several boxes of important ‘stuff’ during my house move around the same time…not yet found.

Anyway, Mr Justice McFarlane last weekend gave a most interesting address dealing with, amongst other things ( including rather bizarrely donkeys (I guess you had to be there), those reforms in detail – highlighting meticulously how modest the proposed changes in fact are. It is worth a read.

The reforms are of course due to come into force in April, although nothing further is in the public domain since the initial announcement so it is unclear in practice what will change as of that date.

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POSTSCRIPT: More information here (nice title Jacqui) – apparently new rules in force 27 APRIL. Nice of someone to have told us…Perhaps we could see some draft rules before then?

3 thoughts on “Open Sesame

  1. It certainly reads strangely on paper – I’ll refrain from the obvious comments about the law and asses!

    I don’t entirely agree with McFarlane’s comments on ‘opening up’ the courts and lack his (modest) optimism. The closing of the ‘Clayton loophole’ seems a severely retrograde step, and Simon Clayton himself is campaigning to prevent it. The lack of detail on accreditation of journalists is also very worrying so close to the date when this is supposed to go ‘live’.

    What I found much more interesting in McFarlane’s address was towards the end, and I quote:

    At the end of the day, as family lawyers, we all know that the private law disputes relating to children that our courts are called upon to deal with are not, in reality, legal issues; they are issues to do with human relationships and emotions. They are far better determined, if possible, by the human beings directly involved within each family. All that the law can do is to provide a structure and a framework within which those decisions can, if necessary, be argued out and, if it comes to it, provide a decision maker other than the parents who can impose a decision upon them which can then be enforced.

  2. […] Pink Tape: Open Sesame Looking back I appear not to have posted about Jack Straw’s December announcement about the opening of the family courts, although I have since posted on the topic here and here . Although I’m sure I prepared a post on this announcement I suspect it went the way of several boxes of important ’stuff’ during my house move around the same time…not yet found. More… […]

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