UK Family Law Reform

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Advocacy in Family Proceedings

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2018 8:09 AM
Subject: Parliamentary accountability for the family courts is wholly theoretical while the system remains closed.

Dear Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families,

Please will you kindly tell me (1) How MPs can hold you to account for a system they cannot see? (2) How can the influential Constitutional Affairs Select Committee conduct investigations into its workings? And (3) When you debate family law in Parliament, neither MP’s nor Ministers can really know what we are talking about. You have to legislate in the dark.

Yours Sincerely

David Mortimer

Family courts are a revolving door for too many parents 20th November 2017

Bare chested dads go topless outside court in angry protest 17th November 2017

Divorcing parents could lose children if they try to turn them against partner 17th November 2017

Courts are failing children 6th November 2017

Being in the Court Talking to a Judge 30th October 2017

Senior judge warns over 'shaming' impact of legal aid cuts 13th October 2017

The sinister power of Britain’s family courts 9th October 2017

Opening of the legal year 2nd October 2017

More than a third of cases now unrepresented 1st October 2017

Litigant-in-person figures expose family courts crisis 29th September 2017

Family court statistics quarterly 28th September 2017

President of Family Division Revised PD12J Domestic Abuse comes into force on 2nd October 2017

Former Wolves star Jamie O'Hara pleads with ex Danielle Lloyd to let him see his kids 21st September 2017

Home Secretary Amber Rudd 'could be jailed for contempt of court' 20th September 2017

Protester found guilty after spending 57 hours on top of ex-Cheshire MP's Tarporley home 19th September 2017

The Guardian view on the family courts: openness is the cure 31st August 2017

Transparency in the Family Courts 31st August 2017

What we are all really thinking about children disputes 29th August 2017

A charge of Genocide against the Government of the UK and its Monarch 26th January 2015

Chris Grayling Parental Involvement 22nd September 2014

Rapists and child abusers escape punishment if they say sorry 6th September 2014

Her Woozle Revealed, McIntosh Responds 15th May 2014

A short treatise on woozles & woozling 14th May 2014

Ministry of Justice 12th May 2014

Children and Families Act gains royal assent 13th March 2014

A parents right to question a social workers expert report was removed & given to judges when the Children & Families Act was introduced. Around the same time judges were issued guidance to finish cases within 26 weeks.

Empty days, lonely nights 29th April 2014

Parents who emotionally abuse their children could face 10 years in jail 30th March 2014

Nebraska: Almost All Parents Get at Least 35% Parenting Time 23rd March 2014

Senior judges warn reforming court fees will affect access to justice 4th March 2014

Appeal judge slams 'cut and paste' decision in family court 18th February 2014

Getting The Law Wrong Again 13th February 2014

Children pulled from their mother on Christmas Day 1st February 2014

UK courts must not decide the fate of foreign children, says top judge 15th January 2014

MP tells parents suspected of child abuse to flee the country 12th January 2014

Children & Families Bill goes nowhere near as far as I would wish 10th January 2014

Mums who cut fathers out after separation 8th January 2014

Making Co-parenting Work in High Conflict Families 1st September 2013

The cloak of secrecy will be lifted from family courts 23rd July 2013

New laws do not go far enough, claim fathers' groups 23rd July 2013

Parent-Child Reunification After Alienation 8th May 2013

A Fathers role in a child's life is a very important one 10th April 2013

Bristol County Court has referred 1 case of perjury to the police in the last 5 years 26 March 2013

The enforcement of court orders for child contact 20th March 2013

Children and Families Bill 14th March 2013

In 2011 there were 46 enforcement orders issued 11th March 2013

My 'victory’ over secrecy in the family courts has a nasty twist 9th March 2013

Co-Parenting After Divorce by Edward Kruk 9th March 2013

Letter sent to The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP Dated March 2013

Private trials must be last option, says Supreme Court 6th March 2013

The Children and Families Bill - what private children lawyers need to know 4th March 2013

Open up family court hearings, says senior judge 2nd March 2013

Two Crown Prosecution Service staff accused of £1m fraud plot 28th February 2013

There is no research used to train judges in relation to deciding contact time 27th February 2013

Second Reading of the Children and Families Bill in the House of Commons 25th February 2013

Mediation fails to reduce litigation over children 22nd February 2013

Fatherlessness a Bigger Problem Than Smoking, Drinking, Global Warming 20th February 2013

Significant harm threshold: Suspicions or possibilities not enough 20th February 2013

Milton Keynes county court has referred 1 case of perjury to the police in the last 5 years 19th February 2013

Questioning 'affects children’s evidence' 18 February 2013

Politicians frightened to admit fathers are vital says top family lawyer 15th February 2013

Mark Lancester MP Re: Shared Parenting reform 14th February 2013

A ‘presumption of shared parenting’ 10th February 2013

Family justice reform – cooperative parenting 5th February 2013

The Tender years theory effectively prevents children from having a family life with their fathers 5th February 2013

Resignation of the Chairman of the Justice Committee 4th February 2013

German fathers to get joint custody even if mum says no 4th February 2013

REVERSAL OF THE NORM - ending the ‘mother bias’ in family court 3rd February 2013

Shared Parenting Legislation Submitted in Nebraska 2nd February 2013

New rules cut the number of expert witnesses in family courts 1st February 2013

Reducing delays in family courts 31st January 2013

CAB Family Law Unit Closed 30th January 2013

Family Justice Board Action Plan published 25th January 2013

Supreme Court decides case on Spousal Support in Common-Law relationships 25th January 2013

Aggressive bailiff tactics outlawed 25th January 2013

To secure a conviction of perjury requires 2 witnesses 24th January 2013

The Tenders Years Theory Discriminates Against Fathers 18th of January 2013

Secret Courts Destroy the Legal Fabric 18th January 2013

Ivor Catt Family Courts 15 January 2013

Attachment research for family court professhionals by Michael E Lamb 2012

Justice Committee - Pre-legislative scrutiny of the Children and Families Bill 19th December 2012

The problem is not the law but how it's applied 9th November 2012

British Government’s Child Custody Proposal Insults Fathers, Hurts Children 8th November 2012

Separated fathers to gain legal right to see children 7th November 2012

Cooperative parenting following family separation 6th November 2012

Shared parenting' provision to be inserted into Children Act 6th November 2012

Access law change means children will have legal right to see both parents after divorce 5th November 2012

Research into outcome is blocked 5th November 2012

Law Society Written evidence on draft Children and Families Bill 5th November 2012

How is family violence defined in the Family Law Act? 4th November 2012

Court of Appeal finds CMEC breaches fathers' Article 6 rights 2nd November 2012

Activists must study the subject 29th October 2012

A child has no right of access to its parent 28th October 2012

What makes a father kill his children? 22nd October 2012

For every category of offence, men are more likely to be sent to prison than women 16th October 2012

British Draft Family Legislation Leaves Fathers and Children Out in the Cold 21st September 2012

Mr Justice Ryder proposes to overhaul our family courts 31 July 2012

Lawful Disobedience: ARREST THAT JUDGE! Full Version HD (Uncensored) 28th July 2012

A Rotten Judiciary 23rd July 2012

Family law reforms will sow confusion, senior Lib Dem tells David Cameron 18th July 2012

Families 'hit by legal aid plans' 21st April 2012

Family courts and how incompetent so-called experts are failing children 13th March 2012

Clarke outlines shared parenting law change 6th February 2012

A Review of Shared Residential Parenting Research 18th November 2011

A Model Equal Parental Responsibility Presumption in Contested Child Custody 15 September 2011

Breaking up: it's not me, it is you 7th May 2011

The Effect of Joint Custody on Family Outcomes 19th April 2011

Shared Residence Orders by David Hodson February 2011

Lost Opportunities - Law Reform and Transparency in the Family Courts 1st July 2010

Legal first as girl, 5, consulted in 'tug-of-love' court case 16th April 2010

NJ Court Determines That A Cause of Action for Parental Alienation Exists 20th January 2010

Family Court Hell - Mark Harris interview 9th January 2010

Third of family break-up children lose contact with fathers 16th November 2009

Parents who block estranged spouses from seeing children face community punishment 5th December 2008

Media must be allowed into family courts, says Sir Mark Potter 20th October 2008

Outcomes of applications to court for contact September 2008

Children at risk of violence after failures by family courts 1st August 2008

CANADA: Joint custody ain't what it used to be 18th July 2008

A moving response to our family justice campaign 17th July 2008

Get rid of law that hurts the innocent most 11th July 2008

Family Courts: A series not to be missed 10th July 2008

A Conspiracy of Silence 7th July 2008

The Times launches campaign on family justice 6th July 2008

Barristers 'exploiting misery' as fees in family law cases rise 25% in 5 years 19th June 2008

Family courts out of touch says judge 16th June 2008

Why more and more women are losing custody battles over their children 5th June 2008

Barristers in family cases face big cut in fees 19th May 2008

Practice Direction: Residence & Contact Orders: Domestic Violence & Harm 14th May 2008

Fathers 'powerless against vengeful mothers' 1st May 2008

President of the Family Division strong presumption in favour of McKenzie Friends 14th April 2008

Cash prize for council that hit adoption targets 13th April 2008

High court judge warns family breakdown is as big a threat to national life as global warming 5th April 2008

Family justice system is at risk, warns new chief judge 24th March 2008

Scottish Child Contact Survey 25th March 2008

Even Sweden admits: Kids need dads 4th March 2008

British justice: a family ruined 21st February 2008

The Government has ruled that judgments can go up online 9th January 2008

Making a clean break 8th January 2008

Family justice policy does not work for children, report says 10th December 2007

New guidance published on justices' reasons in the Family Proceedings Court 26th November 2007

The expert as judge and jury 19th November 2007

The secret history of family law reform 6th November 2007

Denmark makes 50/50 EQUAL parenting as default 20th October 2007

Legal aid bill 'highest in world' 24th September 2007

Children Act 1989: Risk Assessments under Section 16A 17th September 2007

The devoted paediatrician killed in her drive as she left for work 16th August 2007

FNF must ask for the original EI project to be reinstated 11th August 2007

High profile barrister convicted of attempting to frame a father 6th August 2007

Childrens Act appraisal 27th July 2007

Contact between children and violent parents 27th July 2007

Children adjust better in the custody of the same sex parent 27th July 2007

Give us back our children 26th July 2007

How many care cases received legal aid 23rd July 2007

Family Courts shold be led out of the dark ages 17th July 2007

Number of applications made to the family courts in England and Wales 16th July 2007

Judges get tough on fathers' rights to contact with children 16th July 2007

Family Law - Miscarriages of justice 4th July 2007

Councils making millions in incentives after snatching record numbers of babies for adoption 2nd July 2007

Jailed for waving at my daughter 26th June 2007

More family cases go behind closed doors 21st June 2007

Falconer refuses to lift veil of secrecy over family courts 20th June 2007

How a family court stole my family 15th June 2007

No records kept of how many participated in mediation 8th June 2007

Harman mediation can offer considerable advantages over going to court 6th June 2007

The forces of secrecy are prevailing 5th June 2007

The rank hypocrisy of family court judges 24th May 2007

Geldof - My grief at losing my girls 14th May 2007

From start to finish — one case, one judge 17th April 2007

How equality meant the end of gender typecasting 11th April 2007

Mediation Scrutiny 4th April 2007

Change of residence to father 2nd May 2007

The forces of secrecy are prevailing 29th March 2007

Contact arrangements endanger children 29th March 2007

Advice line is set up for lonely judges 26th March 2007

Ministers rethinking plan to open family courts to media 22nd March 2007

Courts face week of disruption as defence solicitors work to rule 19th March 2007

Legal advisers leave families in the dark on mediation services 6th March 2007

Divorce mediation could save millions 2nd March 2007

Legal aid and mediation for people involved in family breakdown 2nd March 2007

Civil courts 'on verge of collapse' 13th February 2007

Witness should not be cross-examined by a LIP 7th February 2007

Legal aid cash saving plan is a flop 11th January 2007

Judge targeted as fathers start new campaign 5th January 2007

Rise in child abuse cases puts pressure on legal aid budget 28th December 2006

Family courts are the B-side of the law 21st December 2006

Lord Ramsbotham exclusive: Justice system is absurd. Broken. Chaotic 30th November 2006

Are we spending too much on legal aid, and do the right people benefit? 29th November 2006

The children's act has been applied in reverse of it's stated intention 22nd November 2006

We all wrongly assume that custody with mother is best 21st November 2006

'The status quo is not an option' 6th November 2006

Landmark decision backs ministers' wishes 3rd November 2006

Why are they peddling the same set of 'family justice' reforms again? 1st November 2006

You can't silence justice 1st November 2006

'Millions wasted' on court cases 18th October 2006

The Discarded Programme of Family Law Reform 12th October 2006

Liberal Democrat policy for families 9th October 2006

DCA Confidence and confidentiality consultation 4th October 2006

‘Parenting Plans’ are the key to reform 27th September 2006

Driven apart by relatives rows 22nd September 2006

Lib Dem Policy to guarantee contact for non-resident parents agreed 19th September 2006

NSPCC promoting an abuse of children 14th September 2006

Children at risk from Government policy to disregard marriage 6th September 2006

Belgium: Co-parenting presumption now law 5th September 2006

Children are not whose property? 28th August 2006

Hidden world of Britain's tormented families is laid bare 27th August 2006

Family courts to poll children about ending secret hearings 27th August 2006

Justice must be seen to be done in family courts 27th August 2006

Open Letter to Lord Justice Wall from Shaun O'Connell 25th August 2006

Sisters returned to biological mother in lesbians' court battle 27th July 2006

Judges refuse to enforce a contact order 19th July 2006

500 remanded in custody each year over child access 10th July 2006

How many mothers and fathers were given residence? 4th July 2006

Children and Adoption Bill debate 20th June 2006

The 'lost' Section 8 reform 14th June 2006

Last year something like 200 people were sent to prison by the family courts 13th June 2006

Compulsion required for mediation to work, concludes Constitutional Affairs Committee 12th June 2006

Family Courts are more Secret than our Prisons 4th June 2006

Secrecy of the family courts may be about to end 24th May 2006

Court battles over children to be cut under early intervention proposals 22nd May 2006

The Family Court System - 22nd May 2006

Question relating to the training' of family judges 24th April 2006

Open or shut case 19th April 2006

Dr. Phyllis Starkey MP 17th of March 2006

Family Resolutions and the NATC Early Interventions project are not the same 20th January 2006

Family courts 'dispense injustice on routine basis' 30th December 2005

Sally Field - ministers where not misled and family policy was not distorted 23rd December 2005

Children and Adoption Bill - DfES Briefing 5th December 2005

Family courts' veil of secrecy will lift to win back public confidence 5th December 2005

How many mothers and fathers do not comply with contact orders 28th November 2005

Where is the proof that Judges are acting in the best interests of children? 23rd November 2005

Divorced parents to be given automatic access to children 13th November 2005

Ministers are aware of the Bruce Clark investigation 3rd November 2005

Sir David Normington DfES The Children and Adoption Bill 14th October 2005

There is a very simple truth associated with contact disputes 12th October 2005

Family Court and Parental Contact Survey 12th October 2005

No research proves sole residency is best 14th September 2005

I just want to see my little daughter 26th August 2005

Care for the Family Briefing paper 19th August 2005

What happened to the NATC Early Interventions project 21st July 2005

Fathers group wants transcripts taken in family law cases 12th July 2005

Divorce mediation scheme flops 27th June 2005

DfES Design Team Minutes 17th May 2005

NAO Complaint Against the DfES Miscarriage of Family Policy 17th May 2005

A Child's Right 8th May 2004

Family Law: Activists complain about DfES official 3rd May 2005

Consensus Major Distortions of Family Policy 26th April 2005

Love-split lesbian wins battle for child access 7th April 2005

Only six couples sign up for Hodge's £1m mediation scheme 3rd April 2005

What Do The Little Ones Want? 14th March 2005

Problems in enforcing court orders 2nd March 2005

Fathers get raw deal on child access, say MPs 2nd March 2005

No Abandonment of NATC EIP 2nd March 2005

Failure to enforce a contact order is a breach of Human Rights Law 2nd March 2005

In 2003-04 there were an estimated 7000 alleged breaches of contact orders 2nd February 2005

Family Mediation: Government parenting plans condemned by contact experts 25th January 2005

Putting mummy in the stocks 19th January 2005

This is an accurate account of the Governments current thinking 18th January 2005

FNF can suggest to the Select Committee that the original EI project be reinstated 10th January 2005

It is time to open up family courts to public scrutiny 10th January 2005

Phyllis Starkey MP wont Help 7th January 2005

When Ex wifes become alienators 29th December 2004

No right to contact and no proof that sole residency is in the best interests of children 21st December 2004

Lord Filkin - Family Resolutions has not abandoned the principles of Early Interventions 14th December 2004

Summary of the Parliamentary Debate on contact 13th December 2004

'Parenting plans' to give separated fathers better access to children 30th November 2004

Fam Law [2004] 835 November 2004

Family court secrecy is bad for children 1st November 2004


Parliament launches review of family court cases 20th September 2004

Hodge says the aims of Family Resolutions do not differ now from the original proposal 17th September 2004

Restoring Control over matrimonial and family law September 2004

Parental Separation Childrens Needs and Parents Responsibilities 20th July 2004

It nearly broke my heart 14th July 2004

Views wanted on child contact agreements 24th June 2004

Listen to the children, Mrs Hodge 30th May 2004

Hi-Jacking the Early Interventions project 29th April 2004

Every part of the criminal justice system is failing 23rd April 2004

Judge backs angry fathers over contact with children 2nd April 2004

Why are we afraid of seeing fair play? 25th March 2004

Family courts failing children 30th December 2003

Babies May Benefit From Overnight Visits With Noncustodial Parents 7th November 2003

Loaded justice 5th November 2003

Children of break-ups 'safer with their dads' 5th September 2003

Contact Dispute Resolution [2003] Fam Law 455

Childrens safety on contact visits 13th January 2003

Legal Abuse Syndrome 8th November 2002

It is unsatisfactory for contact orders to be flouted with impunity 26th September 2002

Joint custody might be best option for children of divorce June 2002

Custody ruling deals a blow to stay at home fathers 19th April 2002

Children Likely to be Better Adjusted in Joint Vs Sole Custody Arrangements 24th March 2002

Bath world congress on family law 17th September 2001

Children 'must have equal access' to both parents after divorce 8th October 2000

Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions July 2000

Submission to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 28th April 1999

Joint Custody Bibliography 1999

Children do better when raised by their fathers 1998

In Texas the minimum amount of time a judge can order is now approximately 42% 1997

Enforcement of contact orders in UK 11th March 1997