International Family Law journal is delighted to announce the appointment of two new editors: Barbara Mills QC and Michael Edwards. We interviewed them about their careers.
ME: I am a barrister at 4 Paper Buildings, specialising in international family law. I am in court every day (almost all virtually, currently) representing parents and children, usually where there has been a child abduction.
BMQC: I am a barrister, mediator and arbitrator. I also sit as a Recorder on the South Eastern Circuit. I specialise in all aspect of the law in relation to children with an emphasis on private children law. My focus every day is assisting parties to resolve their complex disputes and how the day unfolds depends on the particular case that I have on that day.
ME: Ten years now. I studied history at university, which taught me to read quickly and to be sceptical. All good training for law. I became interested in family law after some work experience – I quickly realised that this is what I wanted to do. 4pb specialises in international cases, so I was lucky and followed the opportunities.
BMQC: I was called to the Bar in October 1990 and took silk this year. Family Law allows me to use the law to help people in deep struggle after the breakdown of a relationship to work out what to do next for their children so those children can reach their full potential.
ME: Ending up in Worcester General Hospital with my client during pupillage, after she’d had a panic attack and collapsed in court. The Bar takes you to some interesting corners of the country.
BMQC: Too many to choose from.
ME: Best: seeing friends and colleagues at court. The job is best when it’s collaborative. Worst: finishing a hearing, then immediately launching in to prep for the next days’ case.
BMQC: Best : that moment in a joint mediation session when the penny finally drops for a resistant parent that he/she is in dialogue with their child’s other parent – a parent who loves the child as much, albeit differently, and who is as hard wired as they are to find workable long term solutions for that child. Worst: amending draft orders which contain all sorts of controversial recitals not raised at the hearing, which then takes discussions to a whole new and utterly unhelpful level.
ME: The work is fascinating and challenging.
BMQC: Helping to give children a voice.
ME: You’ll never be bored.
BMQC: Know yourself and then prepare for that to be challenged on a daily basis
ME: Bob Dylan: Tangled up in Blue (for the line, ‘keep on keeping on’)
BMQC: Kirk Franklin : A God Like You
ME: Alison Grief QC, Joy Brereton, Ruth Kirby and, of course, Barbara Mills QC – trailblazing women who looked out for me in the early days.
BMQC: Lord Justice Peter Jackson
ME: Changing nappies
BMQC: Walking, travelling and reading with a book club
ME: Mike Brearly: The Art of Captaincy
BMQC: Matthew Syed: Rebel Ideas
ME: I missed the boat as a professional cricketer, sadly.
BMQC: I would own/run a neighbourhood tea shop.
ME: Bring back legal aid for the people that need it most.
BMQC: Private law disputes can be hugely damaging for both the parties and their children. According to data collated by Cafcass 25% of all disputes within the court arena do not have any safeguarding or welfare issues. I would therefore wish to see financial penalties awarded against any party unwilling to engage properly and fully in non-court based options.
International Family Law Journal is the only English language practitioner journal dealing with the rationale and jurisprudence of family law as it affects families and individuals across Europe and the rest of the world. In the journal practitioners and academics share their skills with subscribers in what is a rapidly growing – but possibly daunting – area of family law.
International family Law is seeking contributions for forthcoming issues. We are particularly interested in contributions on the following topics:
We would, however, welcome contributions on other international family law topics which you think would be of interest for our readers.
Articles are generally 2-3,000 words, although we also welcome more in-depth pieces of 5-6,000 words.
Please send all contributions to email@example.com
International Family Law Journal is available as either a print or online (as part of LexisLibrary) subscription.