Spotlight
Family Court Practice, The
Order the 2021 edition due out in May
Court of Protection Practice 2021
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Spotlight
Latest articles
Disabled women more than twice as likely to experience domestic abuse
The latest data from the Office of National Statistics shows that, in the year ending March 2020, around 1 in 7 (14.3%) disabled people aged 16 to 59 years experienced any form of domestic abuse in...
The President of the Family Division endorses Public Law Working Group report
The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary has published a message from the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, in which the President endorses the publication of the President’s...
HMCTS updates online divorce services guidance
HM Courts and Tribunals Service have recently updated the online divorce services guidance with the addition of guides for deemed and dispensed service applications, alternative service...
Become the new General Editor of The Family Court Practice, the definitive word on family law and procedure
The Family Court Practice (‘The Red Book’) is widely acknowledged as the leading court reference work for all family practitioners and the judiciary. We are currently recruiting a...
The suspension, during lockdown, of prison visits for children: was it lawful?
Jake Richards, 9 Gough ChambersThis article argues that the suspension on prison visits during this period and the deficiency of measures to mitigate the impact of this on family life and to protect...
View all articles
Authors

Family courts are not safe for victims of domestic violence, lawyers say

Feb 20, 2020, 10:31 AM
Slug :
Meta Title : Family courts are not safe for victims of domestic violence, lawyers say
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : Yes
Prioritise In Trending Articles : Yes
Date : Feb 20, 2020, 10:30 AM
Article ID :

The family courts are not a safe place for victims of domestic violence due to the 'outdated views' held by some judges on sexual violence and issues of consent, according to a letter signed by 130 family lawyers and family law professionals.

The letter comes in response to a widely criticised judgment last year by Judge Robin Tolson QC in the family court, in which he ruled that since a woman had not taken physical steps to stop her partner from assaulting her it did not constitute rape.

Family law specialists have penned an open letter to the lord chancellor, Robert Buckland, and president of the family division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, calling for immediate action to address issues raised in the judgment. 

Last month's judgment stated that McFarlane will ask the Judicial College to train judges who might hear cases involving serious sexual assault allegations in family proceedings based on training already provided to criminal judges. However, lawyers believe training alone is not enough. The letter says: 'We are aware that other family judges hold similar "outdated" views. There are wider systemic issues including some lack of understanding of domestic abuse and serious sexual assault, and a failure to apply the practice directions to afford victims a fair trial. This is despite training and clear rules. It leaves children and women at risk of serious harm and undermines the credibility of our legal system. Increasingly, the courts are no longer seen as a safe place for women who have been abused.'

The letter was written by a barrister, Dr Charlotte Proudman at Goldsmiths Chambers, and signed by Cris McCurley, a partner at Ben Hoare Bell, Jenny Beck, director of Beck Fitzgerald Lawyers & Consultants. Among the organisations that have signed the letter are representatives from the charities the Centre for Women’s Justice and Rights of Women.

Categories :
  • News
Tags :
  • domestic abuse
  • domestic abuse education
  • Family court
  • judicial training
Authors
Provider :
Product Bucket : Domestic Violence
Load more comments
Comment by from