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News in brief: All Along the Watchtower

Date:21 FEB 2014
Journals Manager + Online Editor

Matthias MuellerAs the winds of change charge through the family justice system (see last week’s View from the President’s chambers), it becomes ever more clear that this is the calm before the storm.

It strikes me that the President’s latest View didn’t really take anybody by surprise. Everybody knows that the PLO and CAP 2014 will be finalised by the Family Procedure Rules Committee on 3 March 2014, and that the draft Revised Bundles Practice Direction will also be put before the committee on the same day. The Family Court also feels like old news somehow.

What seemed to cause a much bigger stir on the back of last week's View was the President reinforcing Mrs Justice Pauffley's findings in Re NL (A child) (Appeal: Interim Care Order) [2014] EWHC 270 (Fam), [2014] 2 FLR (forthcoming). Twitter bore witness to many debates and much has been written in the blogosphere about this case. Particularly worthwhile reads are these posts from suesspiciousminds, Pink Tape and David Wicks

This week in contrast has been a breeze. I reported that publicly funded mediation continues to struggle, which I suspect isn’t really news either anymore. According to the figures, collated in a report by lawyersupportedmediation.com, there was a 43% fall in mediation starts for November 2013 compared to the previous year. Sobering figures.

In brighter news this week, Jordans would like to extend its heartfelt congratulations to all the newly appointed silks, but particularly to the five new family law QCs. One of the newly appointed silks, Charles Hale from 4 Paper Buildings, was shortlisted for Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year 2012. He will also be speaking at this year's Family Property and Finance Conference to be held in London 18 June 2014.

In other news there has been much praise for Lord Wilson’s speech at the Medico-Legal Society in Belfast, Northern Ireland on the evolution of family life, ‘Marriage is made for Man, not Man for Marriage’.

It is also worth mentioning that the eagerly anticipated Law Commission report on matrimonial property, needs and agreements is due out next Thursday, 27 February. We will provide all the latest news and analysis of the report on the day.

Finally, I am pleased to say that Andrew Pack and Miranda Mourby have agreed to write a monthly column for Family Law. Miranda is a pupil barrister at Coram Chambers whose first column looks at  M v LM and Others [2014] EWCA Civ 37 and asks the question: ‘When is it appropriate for society to intervene paternalistically in a decision or decisions that individuals make as to their sexual relations?'

Andrew is a prolific blogger and commentator and we are thrilled to have him on board. The first article in his series, View from the foot of the Tower, is about elephants, divas and reporting restrictions - I bet you don’t often wonder what those three things have in common.

'Outside in the cold distance / A wildcat did growl / Two riders were approaching / And the wind began to howl' – Bob Dylan

Matthias Mueller is the Journals Manager and Online Editor for Jordan Publishing. 

He can be contacted via email at editor@familylaw.co.ukTwitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.

The content of this article should not be considered as legal advice.