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ADVOCACY – THE JUDGE;S VIEW SERIES 2 PART 5: LAW AND THE WHIRLIGIG OF TIME: LEARNING TO LOSE A CASE WELL –

ADVOCACY – THE JUDGE;S VIEW SERIES 2 PART 5: LAW AND THE WHIRLIGIG OF TIME: LEARNING TO LOSE A CASE WELL – | Legal In General | Scoop.it
It is difficult to review a book like Stephen Sedley's  Law and the Whirligig of Time. A wide ranging series of essays that covers everything from the "role of the judge " to Bob Dylan and Under Milk Wood.  It is a book that is impossible to categorise. I have taken a small part of…
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Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: interim report

Independent Review of the Mental Health Act: interim report | Legal In General | Scoop.it
A summary of the review's work so far. Easy Read and British Sign Language versions of the report are also on this page....
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Family Law Week: Report reveals lack of protective measures for domestic abuse survivors during court process

Family Law Week: Report reveals lack of protective measures for domestic abuse survivors during court process | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Home > News Report reveals lack of protective measures for domestic abuse survivors during court process Quarter of survivors surveyed reported being cross-examined by their abusive ex-partner Women's Aid and Queen Mary University of London have released a new report on domestic abuse, human rights and child contact cases in the family courts to coincide with closing of the Domestic Abuse Bill consultation. The report, 'What about my right not to be abused?' Domestic abuse, human rights and the family courts, collected quantitative and qualitative data from 72 women living in England on their experiences of the family courts which confirms and builds on findings from existing research in this area. The report states that there is 'a prevalence of damaging gendered stereotypes and harmful attitudes towards domestic abuse survivors and mothers within the family courts'. According to the research, this is putting survivors and their children's safety at risk and preventing them from accessing justice. Women's Aid is calling for the government to commission an independent inquiry into the family courts to tackle this systematic gender discrimination. Survivors reported that they were repeatedly not believed, were blamed for experiencing abuse and seen as unstable by judges, barristers and Cafcass officers. Almost half of survivors (48%) reported that there was no fact-finding into the allegations of domestic abuse in their case. While one survivor reported that her abusive ex-partner was able to cross-examine her about her sexual history during child contact proceedings. In January 2016, Women's Aid launched the Child First campaign calling on the family courts and the government to put the safety of children back at the heart of all contact decisions made by the family court judiciary. Since the campaign launched there has been some progress made with the revision of Practice Direction 12J, the guidance given to family court judges in child contact cases where there is an allegation of domestic abuse, and a government commitment to ban the practice of abusers cross-examining victims in the family courts. Yet, according to the report, there continues to be a lack of protections within the family courts for survivors of domestic abuse. One quarter of survivors (24%) surveyed reported that they had been cross-examined by their abusive ex-partner during the court hearings; while three in five survivors (61%) reported that there were no special measures – for example, separate waiting rooms, different entry/exit times, screen or video link – in place in the court despite allegations of domestic abuse in their case. These lack of measures to protect survivors from abuse during the court process harms their ability to give evidence and prevents them from effectively advocating for their children in court. The report also revealed a clear link between survivors' experience of domestic abuse, including coercive control and post-separation abuse, and risks to children's wellbeing and safety. Over two thirds of survivors (69%) reported that their abusive ex-partner had also been emotionally abusive towards their child(ren), while almost two in five survivors (38%) reported that their abusive ex-partner had also been physically abusive towards their child(ren). Yet unsupervised contact with an abusive parent was most likely to be awarded in the cases sampled. This reinforced findings from a recent report by Cafcass and Women's Aid which revealed that unsupervised contact was ordered at the final hearing in almost two in five cases where there was an allegation of domestic abuse (39%). In the most extreme cases, contact decisions threatened survivors and their children's human right to life when contact orders placed them in unsafe proximity to abusive ex-partners or confidential information about their address or location was revealed during the court process. Katie Ghose, Chief Executive of Women's Aid, said: "We know that perpetrators of domestic abuse are using the family courts to continue to control and abuse victims, and that the sexist attitudes entrenched within the family courts are enabling that abuse. That's why we are calling on the government to commission an independent inquiry into the family courts to review the culture, practice and outcomes in child contact cases where there is an allegation of domestic abuse. Only a wholesale review of the family courts can bring about the change we need to see to ensure that they operate safely, effectively and fairly in future. "It is a matter of urgency that the government bans the unacceptable practice of the cross-examination of victims by abusers – survivors have been waiting over a year since the government committed to bring this legislation forward. We also want to see compulsory and ongoing training for all professionals – from judges and solicitors through to court support staff and Cafcass officers – on domestic abuse co-delivered by specialists like Women's Aid. This must cover coercive control, post-separation abuse and how children experience domestic abuse so that all professionals can identify and understand domestic abuse to effectively safeguard children and non-abusive parents throughout the court process." Professor Shazia Choudhry, Professor of Law at Queen Mary University of London, said: "When the Human Rights Act was passed in 1998 it was heralded as an opportunity to 'bring rights home'' in order for British citizens to argue for their human rights in British courts. What this exploratory research has demonstrated is that this has not been the case for a number of women survivors of domestic abuse in the family courts. This research indicates that the human rights of these survivors to their family life and to be free from discrimination are not being given sufficient effect in the domestic family courts. Moreover, there is evidence of the family courts failing in their responsibility to prevent and investigate acts of violence towards these survivors and facilitating or failing to challenge a climate of gender discrimination within the courtroom. The findings of this research are deeply concerning and requires urgent attention from both the judiciary and the legal profession." For the report, click here. 30/5/18
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Weekly Notes: legal news from - 4 June 2018

Weekly Notes: legal news from  - 4 June 2018 | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Returning on the eve of the new Trinity law term, we catch up on some of the legal stories and commentary over the last fortnight. These include the application of international law in cyberspace, of domestic law to social media, and of European law to data protection.
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Family Law Week: ONS analyses characteristics of women at most risk of partner abuse

Family Law Week: ONS analyses characteristics of women at most risk of partner abuse | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Home > News ONS analyses characteristics of women at most risk of partner abuse Article examines Crime Survey data for England and Wales: years ending March 2015 to 2017 For the first time, the Office for National Statistics has looked at three years of data from the Crime Survey for England and Wales to help develop insight into which women are most at risk of experiencing abuse by a partner or former partner. This analysis builds on previous findings from the Crime Survey for England and Wales Information on partner abuse experienced by males, and on other types of domestic abuse experienced by both males and females; for which see this earlier ONS article. Commenting on the findings, Glenn Everett from the Office for National Statistics said: "Today's analysis gives insight into the characteristics of women who are more vulnerable to partner abuse. It also tells us about the types of households they live in. This can help to inform policies and services aimed at ending violence against women and girls – one of the key targets in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals." The ONS analysis shows that: Young women (age 16-24) were more likely to have experienced partner abuse recently than older women (age 45-59). Women with a long-term illness or disability were more than twice as likely to have experienced some form of partner abuse (12.4%) than women who did not (5.1%). Bisexual women were nearly twice as likely to have experienced partner abuse than heterosexual women (10.9% compared with 6.0%). Women who identified with Mixed/Multiple ethnicities were more likely to have experienced partner abuse (10.1%) than any other ethnic group. Looking at the types of households in which women were more likely to experience abuse, the ONS found that:  Women living in households with an income of less than £10,000 were more than four times as likely (14.3%) to have experienced partner abuse than women living in households with an income of £50,000 or more (3.3%). Women living in social housing (11.1%) were nearly three times as likely to have experienced partner abuse than women who were owner occupiers (4.1%). For the latest ONS analysis, click here. 31/5/18 Keywords:domestic abusewomen
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Shared office space "will give barristers pay-as-you-go London base"

Shared office space "will give barristers pay-as-you-go London base" | Legal In General | Scoop.it
A shared office space in London that aims to give barristers around the country a physical presence in the capital on a pay-as-you-go basis will open shortly, Legal Futures can reveal. The venture, Barrister Hub, is a joint venture between Clerksroom and barrister-focused recruitment and consultancy business Chambers People.
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GDPR: 10 things businesses should do if compliant or not compliant yet

GDPR: 10 things businesses should do if compliant or not compliant yet | Legal In General | Scoop.it
ANALYSIS: The 25 May marked the start of a new data protection regime in Europe, but the date is only the end of the beginning for businesses that are compliant with the new rules. Similarly, those companies that failed to meet the deadline must not be deterred from completing their compliance journeys.
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Two-thirds of criminal barristers work for nothing one day a week –

Most say the reason they work additional unpaid hours is because the solicitor does less than previously.
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A day in the life of ... Alex Verdan QC

A day in the life of ... Alex Verdan QC | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Alex Verdan QC is Head of Chambers at 4PB, winner of the Family Law Chambers of the Year – London Award at the Family Law Awards 2017.
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UK/EU Family law after Brexit: a speech to the European Parliament

UK/EU Family law after Brexit: a speech to the European Parliament | Legal In General | Scoop.it
UK/EU Family law after Brexit: a speech to the European ParliamentFamily Law, Brexit, divorce, international family law, Law Society, Hague Conference on Private International Law, European Union, common law jurisdiction, lis pendens, forum dispute, alternative dispute resolution, EU Mediation Directive, Hague Child Abduction Convention, Hague Maintenance Convention
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Brexit implications for family law analysed in panel discussion at European Parliament

Brexit implications for family law analysed in panel discussion at European Parliament | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Four family law specialists took part in a panel discussion at the European Parliament yesterday to discuss the implications for family law of the UK leaving the EU.
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Solicitors crowd bottom rungs of judicial ladder - but struggle to climb it | News

Solicitors crowd bottom rungs of judicial ladder - but struggle to climb it | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Judicial Appointments Commission bulletin also contains social mobility data revealing the dominance of the privately educated.
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Radio 4 - Radio 4 in Four - 9 Reasons Why We Love Harper Lee

Radio 4 - Radio 4 in Four - 9 Reasons Why We Love Harper Lee | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Some fascinating facts about Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird...
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Courts and Tribunals Judiciary | Judiciary website address change

Courts and Tribunals Judiciary | Judiciary website address change | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Information about the Courts and Tribunals Judiciary of England and Wales. Read the latest judgments, news and speeches.
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Here’s another Jeremy Thorpe scandal – its chilling legacy in law | Geoffrey Robertson | Opinion | The Guardian

Here’s another Jeremy Thorpe scandal – its chilling legacy in law | Geoffrey Robertson | Opinion | The Guardian | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The legal fallout of the 1970s scandal cast a veil of secrecy over the British jury system, says human rights barrister Geoffrey Robertson...
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Family Law Week: President calls for family court capable of dealing holistically with all a family’s problems

Family Law Week: President calls for family court capable of dealing holistically with all a family’s problems | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Home > News President calls for family court capable of dealing holistically with all a family’s problems Lecture outlines the problems with family courts as currently structured The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has called for the creation of "a one-stop shop in an enhanced re-vamped family court capable of dealing holistically … with all a family's problems, whatever they may be". The President acknowledged that such a court would need to have 'all the necessary tools' to do so. Delivering a lecture entitled What is family law? – Securing social justice for children and young people as part of Liverpool University's Eleanor Rathbone Social Justice Public Lecture Series, Sir James began by addressing what constitutes the modern family. He said: "In contemporary Britain the family takes an almost infinite variety of forms. Many marry according to the rites of non-Christian faiths. People live together as couples, married or not, and with partners who may not always be of the other sex. Children live in households where their parents may be married or unmarried. They may be brought up by a single parent, by two parents or even by three parents. Their parents may or may not be their natural parents. "They may be children of parents with very different religious, ethnic or national backgrounds. They may be the children of polygamous marriages. Their siblings may be only half-siblings or step-siblings. Some children are brought up by two parents of the same sex. Some children are conceived by artificial donor insemination. Some are the result of surrogacy arrangements. "The fact is that many adults and children, whether through choice or circumstance, live in families more or less removed from what, until comparatively recently, would have been recognised as the typical nuclear family. This, I stress, is not merely the reality; it is, I believe, a reality which we should welcome and applaud." He said that such social changes pose enormous challenges for the law and that "family law must adapt itself to these realities. It has, and it does, though the pace of the necessary change has, for much of the time, been maddeningly slow." He identified four problems with the family courts as they are currently structured. First, there is the problem that the complex procedures prevent the family court ever addressing the family's problems holistically and in a simple 'one-stop' process. This fragmentation of the family court's processes can lead only to delay, added cost and, worst of all, additional stress for all concerned. Secondly, he considered that family courts ought to be, "but for the most part are not, 'problem-solving' courts". He cited as examples of what can be achieved "the great success of the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts" and "PAUSE, where the objective is to break the pattern we see so frequently in the family courts of mothers who find themselves the subject of repeated applications for the permanent removal of each of their successive children. (The dismal record is believed to be held by a woman who has lost nineteen children to the care system.)". The third problems described by Sir James is that cases involving families, parents and children are spread across the jurisdictions, so that families from time to time find themselves enmeshed in the various justice systems in England and Wales. The final and "most pressing problem of all [identified by Sir James] derives from the fundamental constitutional principle explained by Lord Scarman in A v Liverpool City Council, that: 'The High Court cannot exercise its powers, however wide they may be, so as to intervene on the merits in an area of concern entrusted by Parliament to another public authority.'" This, Sir James explained, has a number of important consequence, one being that generally the ambit of judicial decision-making is constrained by the extent of the resources made available by other public bodies. Consequently, the family court cannot direct that resources be made available or that services be provided; it can merely seek to persuade. Sir James concluded: "What is the objective to which this part of family justice reform ought to be aiming? My thesis is simple, though the road to achieving it will, I fear, be long and hard. "We have somehow to create a one-stop shop in an enhanced re-vamped family court capable of dealing holistically, because it has been given the necessary tools, with all a family's problems, whatever they may be. More narrowly, dealing holistically with the family court's traditional concerns with status, relationship breakdown and family finances; more widely, and ultimately more importantly, dealing holistically with all the multiple difficulties and deprivations – economic, social, educational, employment, housing and health (whether physical or mental) – to which so many children and their families are victim. Family justice is surely about something much wider than mere lawyers' law." For a transcript of the lecture, click here. 3/6/18 Keywords:family courtspresident of family division
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New legislation will modernise the courts

New legislation will modernise the courts | Legal In General | Scoop.it
The first step in legislation to modernise courts and tribunals across the country will today be introduced in the House of Lords.
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Stressed and working for free: barristers blame solicitors for extra workload | News

Stressed and working for free: barristers blame solicitors for extra workload | News | Legal In General | Scoop.it
Perception that solicitors are 'doing less than previously’ in criminal cases cited in Bar Council report on working lives.
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GDPR enforcement: what we can expect from Europe's data protection authorities

ANALYSIS: The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives regulators in Europe more teeth with which to enforce data protection law, but businesses can expect their attitudes towards enforcement and areas of focus to differ.
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Family Law Week: Protocol: Communicating with UK visas and immigration (UKVI) in family proceedings

Family Law Week: Protocol: Communicating with UK visas and immigration (UKVI) in family proceedings | Legal In General | Scoop.it
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Family Law Week: Ministry of Justice publishes Family Justice Research Bulletin 7

Family Law Week: Ministry of Justice publishes Family Justice Research Bulletin 7 | Legal In General | Scoop.it
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