Family Lore has alerted me to this curious decision of Lord Justice Wall on permission (RW v SW  EWCA Civ 457 (29 April 2010)). Wall LJ adjourned off a father’s application for permission to appeal to a two judge court notwithstanding the fact that his own view was that the appeal had no reasonable prospect of success, on the sole basis that the father is ‘one of many who feel let down by the system’.
Hmmm…I admire the sentiment – it is important that all groups of litigants in the family justice system should feel that their case has been dealt with thoroughly – but is it right as a matter of principle that those that complain the loudest should get special consideration? Unusually in this case there is no public or private expense in the form of legal costs as the appellant father was in person and the mother (as is usual with permission applications) was not involved at that stage. However there IS a not insignificant expense no doubt to Her Majesty’s Court Service and judicial time is being taken from something else when the permission application has already been thoroughly considered. What if the two judge court disagrees with Lord Justice Wall and grants permission? Would not the Mother have cause to complain that the Father had been given two bites of the cherry? Certainly if the boot were on the other foot there would be uproar about discrimination against fathers.
This judgment makes me uneasy. Thoughts?
I should avoid the obvious opportunity to make a sexist remark about the inherent improbability of some men doing anything remotely useful with a hoover but it’s just slipped out.
Apparently Batman and his specially modified hoover will be visiting the family courts soon to help clean them up. Excellent. I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to that forthcoming entertainment. I hope he brings his marigolds. It’s messy out there.
I’m particularly intrigued to know how this little piece of performance art will unfold on the ground. Will Batman actually operate his hoover in the waiting area to dramatic effect (I fear this may interfere with his ability to deliver any punchy script)? Will we have to pause mid conference to raise our feet as he gets those hard to reach crumbs under the chairs? Will he have to pause to change bags or unclog his hose? Will he wield his hoover menacingly at the judiciary? And will it set off the metal detector? And will he be visiting the court at Abergavenny to finish cleaning up the F4J graffitti scrawled across the front entrance?
According to Batman’s facebook page he hopes to clean up family law “…who knows, I might suck up a few corrupt judges and the “gravy train, money hungry solicitors””. Batman dear, that sounds rather threatening. You’d better not point that thing at me, I am very lumpy and will most likely damage your nozzle.
Some chaps ‘associated with’ F4J have apparently been arrested trying to get onto the runway at Heathrow this morning, reports the Telegraph. It has been suggested by Matt O’Connor that they may have been trying to ‘steal back the mantle’ from the Plane Stupid protesters. It’s unclear from the piece I’ve read whether he purports to speak with authority or whether F4J have endorsed or claimed this action. It seems to be a splinter group, but then why the commentary from O’Connor? He certainly sounds from the quote to have been forewarned of the likelihood of forthcoming stunts.
Whatever the precise affiliations of those involved this mantle stealing jolly is pointlessly competitive. Juvenile. Egocentric. Unlikely to do the cause any favours. And irrelevant (why an airport for goodness sake?). Plain Stupid.