Resolution: The family courts exist to provide justice, not make profit

Posted by - 11th December 2015

The family lawyers group Resolution told MPs that ordinary people were ‘already struggling’ with the divorce court fees following the April 2013 legal aid cuts and that a further hike might ‘tie people to abusive or unhappy relationships’. Resolution chair Jo Edwards told the House of Commons’ justice select committee that the planned increase to

Read More

‘Lifeline’ returned as government fixes ‘unconsidered technicality’ restricting access to legal aid

Posted by - 9th July 2015

The government has relaxed  criteria to access legal aid in domestic violence cases following instances where victims were ‘left stranded at the door of the Court’.  The evidential requirement that abuse must have taken place within the last 24 months meant that by the time some cases were reaching final hearing, the evidence was deemed

Read More

Resolution propose ‘family law credit’ for anyone eligible for legally aided mediation

Posted by - 26th February 2015

Anyone eligible for legal aid for family mediation should have an initial meeting with a family lawyer, according to a ‘manifesto’ published by the family lawyers’ group Resolution. Since the LASPO cuts to family legal aid in April 2013, fewer people have access to legal help during the breakdown of relationships. ‘This restricts people’s potential

Read More

The Public Law Outline explained

Posted by - 18th February 2015

When the Children Act 1989 came into force in 1991, it was considered that care applications would last no more than 12 weeks, with most being concluded within eight. It is unclear whether these timescales were ever realistic; what is clear, however, is that the length of applications increased over the years. Tim Parker is

Read More

Domestic violence re-visited

Posted by - 16th January 2015

I am a solicitor in private practice and am becomingly increasingly concerned as to how the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) and Ministry of Justice (MOJ) are interpreting the Domestic Violence gateway regulations and would be keen to receive details of any problems advisers have had. It seems to be the case that the rules in

Read More

Living in limbo: the impact of the domestic violence gateway

Posted by - 7th November 2014

Most of us are aware that changes to legal aid introduced in April 2013 have resulted in many women being denied the essential lifeline to help them through the Family Court. Victims of domestic abuse are now required to provide a prescribed form of evidence of domestic violence in order to obtain legal aid for

Read More

Low-income mums bear brunt of LASPO cuts

Posted by - 24th June 2014

Over 10,000 more mothers went to court without a lawyer to fight child contact and custody battles in the nine months following cuts to legal aid, new government figures reveal. Court user data – compiled by the Ministry of Justice – shows that between April and December 2013 over half (57%) of all UK parents

Read More

‘Something needs to be done’: Munby on ‘unacceptable’ court translation contract

Posted by - 30th May 2014

The extent of Capita’s ‘unacceptable’ contractual arrangements for court translation services was revealed by the president of the family division after an adoption hearing concerning Slovak-speaking parents had to be abandoned when interpreters failed to show. Apparently Capita’s interpreter contracts did not even give the company ‘the ability to require’ interpreters to honour assignments. Sir

Read More