Spotlight
Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'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
The need for proportionality and the ‘Covid impact’
Simon Wilkinson, Parklane PlowdenThe Covid-19 pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of our lives. Within the courts and tribunals service there has been a plethora of guidance since March 2020 which...
Local authority input into private law proceedings, part II
Mani Singh Basi, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingsLucy Logan Green, Barrister, 4 Paper BuildingThis article considers the interplay between private and public law proceedings, focusing on the law relating...
Time for change (II)
Lisa Parkinson, Family mediation trainer, co-founder and a Vice-President of the Family Mediators AssociationThe family law community needs to respond to the urgent call for change from the...
How Can I Wed Thee? – Let Me Change the Ways: the Law Commission’s Consultation Paper on ‘Weddings’ Law (2020)
Professor Chris Barton, A Vice-President of the Family Mediators Association, Academic Door Tenant, Regent Chambers, Stoke-on-TrentThis article considers the Paper's 91 Consultation Questions...
Consultation on the proposed transfer of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of costs to the Legal Aid Agency
The Ministry of Justice has launched a consultation on the proposed transfer from Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service to the Legal Aid Agency of the assessment of all civil legal aid bills of...
View all articles
Authors

Minister for Inequality

Sep 29, 2018, 22:28 PM
Minister for Family Justice, mediation, equality, domestic violence, men and women, family justice, Caroline Dinenage, gender inequality
Am I the only family lawyer who has a problem with Caroline Dinenage's ministerial portfolio that covers Women, Equalities and Family Justice? ​Her women and equalities responsibilities include women and the economy; women on boards; and reducing the pay gap: challenging cultural stereotypes and stopping violence against women and girls.
Slug : minister-for-inequality
Meta Title : Minister for Inequality
Meta Keywords : Minister for Family Justice, mediation, equality, domestic violence, men and women, family justice, Caroline Dinenage, gender inequality
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Sep 7, 2015, 10:15 AM
Article ID : 116594
Am I the only family lawyer who has a problem with Caroline Dinenage's ministerial portfolio that covers Women, Equalities and Family Justice?

Her women and equalities responsibilities include women and the economy; women on boards; and reducing the pay gap: challenging cultural stereotypes and stopping violence against women and girls.

And she's also the Minister for Family Justice? So how does that work with her role, for example, of stopping violence against women and girls, but not against men and boys?

She's also the minister responsible for family mediation. Are there any two roles where impartiality is more important than judge or mediator (not that they're interchangeable, of course)? Family mediation is lazily regarded by some as a viable replacement for access to the family court. While there's still a Matrimonial Causes Act and a Children Act, it's not an option for our legislators (including junior ministers) to behave as if there's something wrong with asking for access to a demonstrably and and impartial court system. If the father or mother of your children is threatening to move with them to Australia on a permanent basis and you're facing the possibility that you may never see them again, then mediation is unlikely to be the solution. You'll want the option of a determination from a skilled, experienced and impartial judge whose judgment will be respected, if not necessarily welcomed.

So I repeat: how will Caroline Dinenage combine her role as champion for women with that of guardian of the principles enshrined in our legal system? A cynic might say that our family courts, for all the admirable neutrality of the wording of our statutes, already exhibit a bias towards women. So what's new? I think it's fair to say Ms Dinenage's appointment would not have been met with the resounding silence it's received had she been given the dual roles of Minister for Family Justice and Minister for Men. Taking up the cudgels, so to speak, for men who are victims of domestic violence? Or the appalling condition in men's - but not women's - prisons? Or the worrying gap in educational achievements between boys and girls? Or the high suicide rate amongst middle-aged men? But there isn't a minister for men's issues, so that could never happen.

Imagine how you would feel as a man who's been a victim of domestic violence for many years, but has felt too ashamed to tell anyone. You've reached the point where you can go on no longer and want to get away. The minute you start looking into the possibility of getting a court order that might offer some protection, you discover that the minister in charge of the court is only on the side of women and, explicitly, women who are victims of domestic violence. You're already fearful that you're not going to be believed, and then you find out that the Minister for Family Justice is charged with the responsibility of stopping violence against women and girls.

Can I really be the only family lawyer who thinks this is complete madness?

The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.
Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from