Bit busy at the moment. But here’s a few things to keep you occupied:
Slightly belated news that the Justice Select Committee has published it’s report on the Operation of the Family Courts. Scroll down to paragraph 239 and you will find a quote from Lucy Reed, author of Family Courts without a Lawyer – A Handbook for Litigants in Person, and a footnote citing Pink Tape! I have to confess this is a little bit rewarding and not a little bit anxiety inducing. Who the hell else is reading the rubbish I write? Can’t decide if my career is circling the plughole or – well the opposite of that. Anyway, regardless of my mini-ego trip the report is worth a read. I’ve had a chance for a quick scan only – and it seems pretty sensible to me. They do not mince their words in respect of the poor evidence base on the potential impact of the legal aid cuts and the likely upsurge of litigants in person in private law cases. I will expect the MoJ to be placing a bulk order for the Handbook very soon (not). A summary of the report is available here for those without the stamina to read the whole thing.
Also, whilst you are all waiting on the edge of your seats for part 2 of my inordinately lengthy adoption post (yes, @johnbolch, I know you mean me ;-)) it seems that the blueprint for change is in fact NOT a blueprint for change at all. Confused? Camilla Pemberton at Community Care has interviewed Tim Loughton Children’s Minister, who (in spite of the fawning admiration of him by Martin Narey in his Times’ commissione adoption report) has rejected some of recommendations contained in it, importantly the suggestion we need not bother with assessing the self evidently cr*p extended families of obviously inadequate parents (I paraphrase a leetle). Bet he wishes he’d seen the report before the appointment. Martin Narey responds here (I think unconvincingly but I’ll tackle this in blog post no 2).
Oh, and since it appears that most Government policy is almost entirely based on the opinions of rubbish newspapers, I am confident that they will revise their proposals to cut legal aid in private family disputes involving allegations of sexual abuse. Let’s face it – if the Daily Mail get it (sort of – just pretend they said “alleged paedophiles”)), the Government should be able to grasp the concept (h/t @acute_tomato).
Well, I have to go and catch some Zeees in preparation for the day job – so that’s your lot for today.