This article is based on the keynote address to the Annual Conference of the Association of Lawyers for Children, Manchester, 19 November 2009
I am very conscious of my audience. You are not only specialists, but you are working at the sharp, and uncomfortable end of your specialism. Much of what I have to say will not, alas, be new, or even original. Much will be, to you at least, statements of the obvious. That I believe they need to be said indicates the parlous state of family law in 2009. I am, however, going to discuss only three main topics under the title of the conference. They are: (1) the need to preserve the positives (I am going to concentrate on s 41) under the Children Act 1989 (the 1989 Act) and the Family and the Family Proceedings Rules (to be replaced (I hope in 2010) by the re-written Family Procedure Rules; (2) what has become known as 'transparency'; and (3) the recent decision of the President in Re Child X (Residence and Contact: Rights of Media Attendance: FPR Rule 10.28 (4))  EWHC 1718 (Fam),  2 FLR 1467 handed down on 15 July 2009.
To read the rest of this article, see January  Family Law journal.
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