General Family Law

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 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,…

The European Court decision on legality of sharia divorce: what is it really about?

A European Court decision in mid-December 2017 in the context of a Islamic divorce pronounced in Syria was bound to create headlines.  Too often these were potentially misleading when the issue of law was a fairly narrow one and moderately legal technical.  Nevertheless, within that legal technical description covers a wider issue of the interrelationship of personal laws and national…

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…

London reaches across Europe to embrace Istanbul and work together to combat domestic violence

Introduction The Istanbul Convention in English law, co-written with Fatamah Farag and Madeleine Gordon   On 8 June 2012, the UK government made a commitment to help end violence against women by signing and promising to ratify The Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (CETS No.210) (the “Istanbul Convention”). To the dismay…

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…

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