As Bird says in his Preface to the handbook, 'the higher courts have not been idle in interpreting and casting new light on what was previously regarded as established law'. Moreover, he goes on to say that the courts have provided 'more food for thought to the lower courts, and those in practice' (us, in other words), 'when determined and advising on the continuing flow of family disputes' which have not dried up even though the legal aid has!
Depending on what you are looking for, the new edition will give you materials on a number of contemporary areas 'which appear to be the subject of judicial interpretation' and they cover the following topics: [contributions, agreements, setting aside for whatever reason and cases involving overseas divorce[.
The book has been slightly restructured to remove the Appendix which covered precedents. The writers have taken that decision because, as they rightly say, it serves only a limited purpose to include the precedents. What they advise practitioners and general litigants to do is see the more comprehensive precedent source which is available in the Jordan’s Family Law Precedents Service.
We are very fortunate to have the expertise of District Judge Julie Exton covering procedure and pensions in particular, as well as general advice “from the coalface” for the new edition. She replaces Andy King who has now retired. As with all the Jordans Family Law imprints, the detail we are given does make our professional lives a great deal easier.
This paperback is now over 500 pages long with the slimmed down appendices and the 24 chapters. You have the relevant statutes, procedure rules and practice directions at your fingertips should you need to refer to these materials quickly whilst at court or in Conference.
Thorpe LJ makes some wry observations in his 'Second Foreword' ending with this fine tribute to Roger Bird which is thoroughly justified.
'Roger’s survey of the ever-changing scene is not just completely dependable but also enlightened by an insight derived from his natural wit and his experience of the evolutionary history to which he has made such a rich contribution as judge, teacher and reformer.
Very fine words for a very fine book!