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Mr Nightingale gets the chance to sing

Date:12 FEB 2015
A recent story in the media about women’s prison exemplifies the ongoing debate amongst family lawyers. Why does the court adopt different approaches when looking at men and women and deciding how families should be organised and funded when they break up? Some lawyers and judges still deny that the approach is influenced by gender and claim that it’s all down to fairness.

At least Justice Minister Simon Hughes wasn’t in denial about gender neutrality when he supported the view of women’s groups that women prisoners are essentially a 'special case' and different from male prisoners. They need to be in smaller establishments with greater access to treatment for addiction and other mental health problems often attributable to their upbringing.

So not like all the men then who overwhelmingly are also in prison because of problems with addiction and other mental health issues caused by their upbringing.

Mr Hughes also cited the fact that ‘many more women have caring responsibilities than men do’.

It’s an extraordinary approach in my view. It seems we can discriminate against men in and out of...

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