MckenzieBlog

Time for a litigant in person list in Belfast family courts?

January 29, 2010

Had the old Mexican stand-off with Master Redpath yesterday (Thursday), who was sitting in room 2.21 at the High Court in Belfast. His list had our client, who was a litigant in person listed for 9.30 with the rest of the mentions at call over. The Master and his office were well aware that I […]

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McKenzie friends and ‘communication’ in Northern Ireland family courts

January 27, 2010

Just thought I would share the following letter with our readers that was sent to both Lady Silvia Hermon MP and Nigel Dodds MP seeking clarification on the law on Northern Ireland in relation to ‘communications’ of documents and other information on Children Order and Matrimonial Causes Order cases. From: John Junk [mailto:belfast@familycourtsupport.co.uk] Sent: 22 […]

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Real Fathers for Justice in Northern Ireland meet SDLP at Stormont

January 19, 2010

By their own account RFFJ NI had a successful meeting with the SDLP at Stormont yesterday. I haven’t seen any press release from the SDLP, setting out their commitments but I may just have missed that. Other groups such as Families need Fathers and Fathers for Justice in Northern Ireland need to take a leaf […]

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Northern Ireland politicians and others in Contempt of Court for discussing Children Order matters?

January 19, 2010

Having taken some time out to concentrate on political developments in Northern Ireland, most of our original readers will be glad to hear that I am going back to my specialist subject, family law reform. Of course I would like our new readers to stay, but unless the issues I normally blog on affect them […]

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RAC refuse to attend with heavily pregnant woman after car becomes stranded in snow

December 23, 2009

****MAJOR UPDATE AT BOTTOM***RAC REPLIES TWICE?**** Not really related to the subject matter of the blog but as I know various news organisations will want some background on this story, I have put it here rather than fielding calls all morning. Anyone based in the UK will be aware that the AA have accused local […]

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Real Fathers for Justice speak to Belfast News Letter

December 22, 2009

Real Fathers for Justice are mentioned in an article in the Belfast News Letter today. The online version is here. For those of you who don’t know, the Belfast News Letter is the oldest English language daily newspaper still in publication anywhere in the world, and was  first printed in 1737. The nub of the […]

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Who would be a solicitor in England and Wales? Almost everyone it would seem!!

December 21, 2009

Interesting article and comments in the online version of the England and Wales Law Society Gazette, about the solicitor branch of the legal profession. Too may graduates, not enough training places. It’s gotten so bad that the Law Society in England is warning students about the situation. As trainers and providers of family law McKenzie […]

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“Do Your Own Divorce – A Practical Guide to Divorcing Without a Lawyer” Book Review

December 8, 2009

I am sure there are vocational lawyers out there who will be spitting feathers at the mere suggestion of doing a divorce without a lawyer, but don’t shoot the messenger as it is one of your own who has written this book! John Bolch is a solicitor with over 25 years experience specialising in divorce […]

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The Children Act 1989 – past it’s sell by date?

December 7, 2009

Interesting piece in the Guardian about the alleged demise of court reporting generally given the collapse of the print media industry, and how a dearth of reporters reporting might militate against ‘Open Justice’. I would add that the prospect of having to pay for content might negatively affect reports reaching the general public. Such is […]

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Dr Pelling speaks on Children Schools & Families Bill and statutory reversal of Clayton-v-Clayton

November 30, 2009

Dr Michael Pelling has given the following analysis of the effect of the Children Schools and Families Bill on existing “openness” precedents Clayton v.Clayton and Clibbery v.Allan and shows that far from increasing transparency in Family proceedings, the Bill in many respects does the exact opposite. Why the Children Schools & Families Bill implies a […]

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‘Publicity in Family Proceedings’ Panel Discussion, FLBA Annual Conference

November 29, 2009

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 […]

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Progress for McKenzie friends in Scotland but still a way to go

November 26, 2009

Following on from our post about where McKenzie friends should sit Peter Cherbi has just announced on his blog that for the first time since the seminal judgment in McKenzie-v-McKenzie in 1970, a McKenzie friend has been permitted to assist a litigant in person in a Scottish Court.  Bizarrely however Lord Woolman decreed that the […]

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Why family courts make such bad decisions?

November 26, 2009

A lot of parents (mostly dads) are unhappy with their experience in family court and the resulting judgment.  As a full time McKenzie friend/lay adviser and lay advocate in UK family courts I can tell you that a lot of times one parent has a right to be perplexed as to how a decision was […]

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Is Social Work a profession?

November 24, 2009

It is fair to say that a social worker’s favourite word is ‘professional’ or derivatives thereof. At a case conference I attended recently with a client, the word was bandied about as if it was well accepted in society that social worker’s were ‘professionals’. This notion of social workers as ‘professionals’ didn’t sit well with […]

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Northern Ireland AR Case Law D-v-D (Post Agreement Windfall) [2009] Master 75

November 23, 2009

Knowing as I do that we are followed by a lot of notables in the UK family law community I wonder what our cousins in England and Wales think of this judgment and what comments they would make on the arguments advanced by counsel and the reasoning employed by the judge, Master Bell. I certainly […]

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Judge orders boy to live with father against his wishes

November 20, 2009

Before you all get too excited about this case as reported in the Daily Telegraph I would ask you to hold off from rushing to include this in your skeleton arguments until you see the actual judgment from the Court of Appeal. Hope I am wrong but this seems to me more akin to an […]

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