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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

28 FEB 2014

News in Brief: The wait is over

Journals Manager + Online Editor

@matthia5mueller

Matthias Mueller

What started off as another quiet week has certainly ended with a bang.

The big story of the week was the publication of the eagerly anticipated Law Commission Report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements. The report has dominated the media, Twitter and blogosphere since it came out. We have three excellent pieces on the report all of which deserve to be read.

We have Hayley Trim's excellent breakdown and David Hodson's critical assessment of the report. We also decided to make an exclusive extract of Professor Elizabeth Cook's, Law Commissioner for England and Wales, article available on our website. It is available to read here.

The news that yet another set of chambers has voted for dissolution as a result of legal aid cuts is deeply troubling. The hope is that Renaissance Chambers can follow in the footsteps of Tooks Chambers, who also dissolved on the back of legal aid cuts, and were ‘resurrected' as Mansfield Chambers. Time will tell.

Speaking of legal aid, it is probably worth mentioning that the Ministry of Justice has finalised its proposals to cut criminal legal aid. Suffice it to say that many media outlets have labelled the plans a ‘total disaster'.

In other news the Department for Education are consulting on changes to the statutory guidance on the Children Act 1989. Consultation responses can be completed here.

As always, we have summaries of all the most important cases available on our website. SA v PA (Pre-Marital Agreement: Compensation) [2014] EWHC 392 (Fam), [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming) is a particularly timely decision relating to a Dutch pre-marital agreement, given the recent Law Commission report. Re J and K [2014] EWHC 330 (Fam), [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming - another popular Pauffley J decision) has been described as a feel-good case: it encourages collaboration over a cuppa, praises the potential role of McKenzie friends and even makes mention of the judge's dog - what's not to like?

So, now that the Law Commission report is finally here, we can go back to waiting. Waiting for FJC guidance. Waiting to see if these recommendations manage to ease the burden that has been placed on the court system and provide a much needed boost for alternative dispute resolution. Waiting for the PLO and CAP, and for the Children and Families Bill to receive royal assent. Maybe the wait has only just begun?

Matthias Mueller is the Journals Manager and Online Editor for Jordan Publishing. 

He can be contacted via email at editor@familylaw.co.ukTwitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

The content of this article should not be considered as legal advice.

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