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Family Law


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"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with contemporary issues"

Sir Mark Potter P

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Winner of the prestigious British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) Legal Journals Award 2017. The BIALL Award recognises and rewards excellence in legal serials publishing.

Family Law – the title of reference and record in the field of family law since 1970 – is the leading practitioner journal compiled by experts for family law professionals. The journal features the latest official guidance, in-depth case analysis and topical articles. Contents also include regular columns from the Family Law Bar Association, Resolution, The Law Society and the Association of Her Majesty's District Judges as well as news and research updates, letters and book reviews.

Family Law journal is available as either a print or online subscription.

 A subscription to Family Law journal provides:

  • Personal comment from distinguished family law experts on all topical issues
  • Short case reports and analysis of all important family and child law cases
  • In-depth articles from leading practitioners, academics and professionals involved in the justice system
  • Latest news on all key developments in family law, policy and practice
  • Regular updates from the Association of District Judges, Law Society, FLBA and Resolution
  • Practice Directions reproduced in full
  • Other features include book reviews, letters, Resolution news and a diary of events
January [2018] Fam Law

  • Participation of vulnerable people: don’t expect fireworks - Professor Penny Cooper 
  • Budget November 2017: the impact for family lawyers 
  • Vulnerable parties and witnesses 
Care review
  • Publicity and financial remedy proceedings 
  • Maidenhead – now Middlesex: irregular divorces and the Queen’s Proctor 
  • Family Law Awards 2017: the results 
Last Orders
  • The View from the Bar - Rob George 
Case Reports

  • Do the vulnerable have effective access to family justice? The Honourable Mr
  • Justice Cobb 
  • Compensation: a dead parrot or a sleeping beauty? Valentine Le Grice
  • QC 
  • Dowry claims in England and Wales Nazia Rashid 
  • Negotiating faith, culture and gender in J v B and The Child AB - Susan Edwards 
  • The risks to litigants in person when cross-examining psychologist expert witnesses - Dr Jaime Craig 
  • Lasting powers of attorney v deputyship – to be or not to be making your mind up - Her Honour Nasreen Pearce and District Judge Sue Jackson 
In Practice
  • McKenzie students – an oxymoron? Farhana Begum 
  • The Financial Provision Bill and the American experience- J Thomas Oldham 
  • Resolution’s guide to good practice in cohabitation cases - Graeme Fraser 
  • Practice Guidance: Standard financial and enforcement orders - Sir James Munby 
  • President’s Circular: Financial Remedies Courts - Sir James Munby 
Dispute Resolution Update
  • Working with solicitors in mediation – a mediator’s perspective - Jo Edwards, Amanda Sandys and Jamie Gaw 
Transparency Project News
  • Crisis in care – crisis in confidence? Lucy Reed 
Update Extra
  • Family Justice Council Debate 2017
  • Complex financial remedy computation 
  • The Court of Protection Rules 2017 (and associated Practice Directions) 
  • Parental responsibility in safeguarding the right to liberty 

Resolution News


"the principal (monthly) periodical dealing with contemporary issues"
Sir Mark Potter P (September 2008)

“widely read legal periodical amongst the district bench according to recent Bulletin survey"
Law Bulletin, Volume 21 Number 2 (Summer 2010)
Elizabeth Walsh Solicitor and Mediator

Rebecca Bailey-Harris Barrister, 1 Hare Court; Professor Emeritus, University of Bristol
Caroline Bridge Barrister and Solicitor, High Court of New Zealand; Honorary Fellow, University of Manchester;
Gillian Douglas Professor of Law, Cardiff Law School, Cardiff University

The Hon Mr Justice Stephen Cobb

Journals Manager
Danielle Munroe

Band-aids for bullet holes: pro bono legal services post-LASPO

Dr Bianca Jackson
November 2016

When legal aid was first enshrined in British law, in the form of the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949, it was intended to be an essential component of the welfare state, a service as integral to its citizens as health care and social insurance. In accordance with the rule of law, its purpose was to ensure that anyone who needed legal advice would be able to access it, regardless of economic or social status. Indeed, when it came into effect in 1950, legal aid provided 80% of the population with a means-tested entitlement to funding for civil cases.1 Pro bono legal charities, which had been the sole point of access to justice for the economically downtrodden before the advent of legal aid, instead filled in the gaps, providing legal advice and representation to those who did not qualify for public funding.

However, those gaps have widened considerably. By 1973, the percentage of the population with a means-tested entitlement to legal aid dropped to 40%, and by 2008, it covered only 29% of the population.2 More recently, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 ('LASPO') has effected what is arguably the greatest assault on legal aid since its inception. Legal aid is no longer available for advice or representation for most cases concerning family breakdown, welfare benefit issues, clinical negligence, unfair dismissal, immigration, and housing. According to the Law Society’s Access to Justice campaign, this has resulted in over 600,000 people losing access to legal aid ...

Read the full article >>

From arbitrator's award to consent order

Gavin Smith
January 2016

The arbitrator has delivered the award in your financial remedy dispute. How then to obtain a consent order reflecting its terms? Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, has given important guidance on this topic both in S v S (Financial Remedies: Arbitral Award) [2014] EWHC 7 (Fam), [2014] 1 FLR 1257, in which I was the arbitrator, and in his very recent Arbitration in the Family Court: Practice Guidance, issued on 23 November 2015.

Drafting the order

The parties may instruct the arbitrator to draft the consent order. In my view, it is sensible to do so as the arbitrator is in a unique position to ensure that the draft order truly reflects his or her own award. Time and costs will often be saved in this way. Whoever does the drafting, there are certain recitals that should be included (adapted as may be appropriate) in the draft order. These are set out at Annex B to the Practice Guidance and derive from earlier versions set out at para [24] of the S v S judgement: 
'By their Form ARB1 the parties agreed to refer to arbitration the issues described in it which include some or all of the financial remedies for which applications are pending in this court. The issues were referred to [insert arbitrator] under the IFLA scheme, who made an arbitral award on [insert date]. The parties have invited the court to make an order in agreed terms, whcih reflects the arbitrator's award.'
A variant is prescribed for Children Act 1989, Sch 1 cases.

Read the full article >>

Seen but not heard?

Mr Justice Cobb
November 2014.

‘In silence I must take my seat And give God thanks before I eat; …
… I must not speak a useless word For children should be seen, not heard …’

This morally-instructive verse illuminates an austere Victorian attitude to the standing of children in family life. But this dogma was neither the creation nor the preserve of the Victorians; it had been embedded in custom for centuries. A collection of fifteenth century homilies make reference to an old English saying that ‘A mayde schuld be seen, but not herd’; in their turn, John Locke in the seventeenth century, and John Stuart Mill in the nineteenth, each explained and rationalised this accepted notion in their writings. This societal attitude was reflected in an essentially paternalistic and protective jurisdiction of the civil courts responsible for decision-making in relation to children, a jurisdictional principle which continued right up until the end of the twentieth century.

In contemporary society, the increasing autonomy and moral authority of young people is more widely recognised; its influence over and contribution to our lives is
genuinely welcomed. Surely our forebears would not for one second have contemplated that a Nobel award, recognising an extraordinary contribution to global rights of young people, could be made to a 17 year old, as it was in 2014. Remarkable and inspiring though that achievement is, it does not disguise the fact that many young people feel that they are not appreciated, they are not heard, even on matters which affect their daily lives, and which materially and adversely affect their emotional and physical well-being. Consider two recent reports which attracted much national media interest, as examples of this: Anne Coffey’s report 5 Real Voices published at the end of last month contained some extraordinarily distressing stories of child sexual exploitation in Manchester and Rochdale, which for many years went unacknowledged and not addressed; many young people felt that the ‘suits and uniforms’ 6 did not hear what they were saying. Last week the Commons Health Select Committee 7 published its report on children and adolescent mental health, which gave prominence to the range and seriousness of mental health problems affecting young people in England and Wales. Practitioners in the field of family justice(particularly those practising in public law children work) readily recognise the strong connection between mental health problems and social disadvantage, with children and young people in the poorest households three times more likely to have mental health problems than those growing up in better-off homes.8 Mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, which are suffered by about one in ten young people in this

Read the full article >>
The editors welcome the submission of material for consideration for publication.

Material submitted should be original contributions and should not be under consideration for publication in any other journal.

Contributions can only be accepted on the understanding that all copyright clearances have been obtained by the author.

A leaflet ‘Guidance for the Submission of Contributions’ is also available from the publisher or visit the submissions website.
2018 Print Subscription Information
£369.00 + p&p
ISSN 0014-7281 
12 issues per year 
The forthcoming February 2017 issue of Family Law provides a special focus on pensions on divorce. This special issue aims to provide clear insights to one of the most complex areas of family law practice. 

As His Honour Judge Edward Hess states in his Foreword: 

‘It is no coincidence then that this edition has no fewer than five excellent articles dealing with pension issues. If there is a common theme in these articles it is perhaps that they express a frustration that the appellate courts have not grappled with the subject as much as they might have done. This impressive collection should play its part in casting light on these questions and perhaps accelerating some clear answers.’

The featured article in this ‘Pensions Special’ is barrister Rhys Taylor’s 40-page comprehensive review of those everyday conundrums which courts face when deciding how to deal with pensions on divorce and dissolution of civil partnership in England and Wales.

Pensions’ expert witness George Mathieson then looks at the thorny issue of offsetting from the perspective of the pension practitioner and demonstrates the difference of opinion which appear to be emerging between the court’s view of pensions and the views of the majority of experts. 

In the third article Solicitor Beverley Morris together with George Mathieson suggest that the Family Justice Council’s Guidance on Financial Needs on Divorce could have done more to improve the way pensions are treated in financial remedy cases and call for more guidance on pension sharing/attachment and offsetting by way of a multi-disciplinary working party.

Then Beverley Morris joins with Philip Cayford QC in examining an alternative route to enforcing pension related orders and finally solicitor David Salter deals with the other side to the Goyal coin, frequently encountered in practice, where there are divorce proceedings in another jurisdiction and an order is sought in relation to an English pension. 

The full contents list of the February Family Law issue is available to view here.

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