The Indy has a short note titled ‘Cuts warning over family courts’, about the FLBA Annual Conference held in Bath yesterday with Mr Justice Coleridge supposedly linking delay in family cases with increased media access.
The story doesn’t really make any sense until you read it in conjunction with this post by Lucy Reed, family law barrister and blawger (sic) writing in her Pink Tape blog. Lucy reveals that part of the conference was in panel discussion format, entitled ‘Publicity in Family Proceedings’ , and lasted all of 60 minutes.
Don’t really feel that I can comment much more without seeing the transcript of the discussion, but suffice to say that I feel that what Mr Justice Coleridge seems to have said is most likely a supportive salvo from SOME of the judiciary into the debate around the Children, Schools and Families Bill Part 2 — Family proceedings. This Bill, under the pretence of more transparent access to courts statutorily reverses Clayton-v-Clayton, despite Jack Straw saying on This Morning on the 27th April 2009 that Clayton wouldn’t be reversed. There is a rather long download video here and the action re Clayton-v-Clayton starts at 8:45.
If you have the time, then listen to the whole piece, as Straw not only speaks about Clayton but about an 11 year old child being forced by the Family Court to see her father. This starts at 10:25. Very telling in my view as Straw seems to suggest that given his own parent’s divorce he has sympathy with the child. He then goes on to say that family court decisions are binary and seems to have forgotten the Shared Residence option!
How I would have loved to have seen Dr Pelling on that show with Straw, but I doubt if Straw’s people would countenance that then, or now.