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Family Law

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18 OCT 2005

<i>Miller v Miller</i>: The Descent into Chaos

John Eekelaar, Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford. The marriage in Miller v Miller [2005] EWCA Civ 984, [2005] FLR (forthcoming) had lasted just under 3 years and a capital transfer to the wife, worth £5 million, was ordered by the trial judge. John Eekelaar considers several issues arising from the judgments in Miller. The author concludes that the House of Lords needs to take control. Our system may be discretionary but the discretion must be centred on firm principle and policy. These are tolerably clear. Subject to giving first consideration to the welfare of children, awards are made either on the basis of earning a share in assets or on need. The author focuses on the American Law Institute (ALI)s report, Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution" (2002), which in his opinion contains probably the most thorough and systematic examination of the relevant principles in the common law world. The author does not advocate that all of the ALI's principles should be adopted, but suggests that the ALIs report contains useful insights. See November [2005] Fam Law 870 for the full article.

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