In this area of my website I set out items of news, commentary, blogs and articles. The most recent are set out below with a longer list in the right-hand column and many more which can be found using the search facility. Please do get in touch with me about any of these articles and the issues raised.

Divorce reform: my proposals and response to the MOJ consultation

The UK government has launched a consultation on divorce reform for England and Wales.  Here is my response.  These are my summary headline comments and proposals: Headline summary   The principle of no-fault divorce was adopted by Parliament in 1996 and nothing has materially changed; there is no need here for a second referendum!   Alongside the campaigning for no-fault…

Divorce forum disputes: when dual nationality may not be a possibility

Overview   As there can be dramatic financial and other differences for an international family in proceedings in one country or another, jurisdiction is fundamentally important.  It is sometimes based on nationality.  But some countries prevent citizens having nationality of more than one country.  International family lawyers need to be aware of which countries allow or prohibit dual nationality  …

The role, benefits and concerns of digital technology in the Family Justice System

Today I has presented a paper on the above at the World Congress of Family Law in Dublin.  Digitalisation is increasing across family justice systems around the world.  The paper looks at the benefits.  It covers the impact on professional practice of lawyers, mediators and judges.  Crucially it looks at the concerns for those who may be disadvantaged and the…

Innovative New International Family Law Arbitration Scheme Announced in Boston

Today (2 June 2017) at the AFCC Annual Conference in Boston, USA, Prof. Patrick Parkinson and I have announced an innovative new scheme to help international families. It is called ‘The International Family Law Arbitration Scheme’ (IFLAS). It will avoid long and expensive forum litigation and will help couples work out where any family differences should be resolved by ascertaining…

The Hague 1970 Divorce Recognition Convention: filling an EU divorce gap?

Overview   I examine this little-known Hague Convention on the international recognition of divorces and legal separations.  Might it be the answer to the recommendation by the House of Commons Justice Committee for a system for mutual recognition and enforcement of family court orders?   English family law after Brexit   On Wednesday, 22 March 2017, the House of Commons…

Commentary on the House of Commons Justice Committee Report on implications of Brexit for the justice system

Overview   I analyse and comment upon the Parliamentary reports published this past week on the implications of Brexit for the justice system.  The House of Commons report is carefully worded and recommends retention of a system for mutual recognition and enforcement of judgements.  I make a plea that with the publication of these reports, family lawyers, like the rest…

DB v PB: Unfair marital agreements, chaos of EU law and unusual routes to fairness

An English High Court decision, reported late last week, has highlighted several real jurisdictional obstacles to producing a straightforward and obvious fair outcome.  The judge had to overcome the “technical” obstacles presented by the EU Maintenance Regulation.  He used a statutory device, described as an “unusual” route, normally used only by nonmarried cohabitants.  En route he also covered the jurisprudential…

5th edition of Jordans ‘International Family Law Practice’ is published

The 5th edition of The International Family Law Practice has just been published by Jordans.  The book is edited by me and I have written several chapters, with specialist contributions from a number of other experts. These include my partners Helen Blackburn, and Ann Thomas. This authoritative leading text book provides comprehensive coverage of the international elements of English law, providing an indispensable practitioner guide…

Law Commission adopts iFLG proposals on law reform for pension sharing after foreign court orders

On 14 December 2016 the Law Commission presented their report as to how the law in relation to the enforcement of financial orders made within family proceedings should be reformed. iFLG were involved in the consultation process and a copy of their response, authored by me and Michael Allum of iFLG, can be found here. I also sat on an advisory…

Anglo Scottish spousal maintenance: a Kingdom very gender disunited

A decision yesterday, 23 March 2016, by the English High Court, Mrs Justice Parker, has made public what has been known by international family lawyers for many years.  The financial treatment of wives, as applicant spouses on divorce, is incredibly different between England and Scotland.  Particularly it affects the conventional “stay at home” wives who have sacrificed careers and their…

EU proposes accession to Istanbul Convention on domestic violence

Yesterday, 4 March 2016, there was much EU fanfare and self-congratulation that the EU was proposing that it should accede to the Istanbul Convention on domestic violence.  Beyond the press releases, what does this mean?  Where does it fit in to what is already existing international law?  What might it mean in practice?   I am certainly not a domestic…

Priority of proceedings under EU Brussels II: An Irish High Court decision may mean all change after 15 years of practice

On Wednesday 2 December 2015, Ireland’s High Court by its most senior family court judge, Mr Justice Henry Abbott, handed down a decision, just published, in an Anglo Irish case which dramatically changes expectations of what is needed across the EU to gain priority of proceedings. It is surprising it has taken until almost the 15th anniversary of the Brussels…

iFLG Response to the Law Commission consultation on Enforcement of Financial Orders

My firm, The International Family Law Group LLP (iFLG), has responded to the Law Commission consultation on reform of the law of enforcement of family court financial orders.  We consider reform is vital of both law and procedure, to make it easier, quicker and cheaper to enforce family court orders.  There should be much more available information. Too often the…

National justice delayed is international justice denied

At the IAML European chapter conference meeting in Seville, Spain, in March 2015 we had a very interesting lecture on Spanish family law.  We were told there are specialist family courts in only the main regional cities: otherwise a family case will be conducted by a nonspecialist judge.  Many judges have not previously practised as lawyers.  There is a huge…

Publication of “The International Family Law Practice 2015/2016”

I am delighted to announce the publication of the 4th edition, 2015/2016, of Jordans "The International Family Law Practice". The third edition was published September 2013 but there have been a lot of changes in the international family law arena since then. This new edition has been fully updated and it is the law as at 1 January 2015.  It…

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