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PSL Essential Update – February 2017

Date:1 MAR 2017
February 2017 has seen family law hit the headlines once again. Our current divorce laws were the focus of the Court of Appeal as it heard the case of Mrs Owens whose divorce petition had been rejected. Several newspapers picked up on the case and the ongoing campaign for the introduction of no fault divorce. The Court of Appeal judgment isn’t available yet but for an analysis of the implications have a read of Sally Pike’s excellent article here.

Below is a summary of other key developments in family law this month.

Vulnerable witnesses

On 23 February the Ministry of Justice released a report of a research study which explored how the family judiciary manage the cross-examination of vulnerable or intimidated witnesses by alleged perpetrators of abuse. The report presented the findings from an in-depth qualitative study based on 21 interviews with family judges and a workshop with representatives from external organisations.

The primary solution put forward by research participants was the provision of publicly funded advocates to be appointed for the purposes of cross-examination and the introduction of routine vulnerability assessments in all private law cases. The research study highlighted...

Read the full article here.