A brother and sister have been jailed for flouting court orders over a £9m divorce. John Hart, 83, was jailed for contempt of court in March for refusing to co-operate with his ex-wife, Karen, 62. Yesterday his sister, Susan Byrne, 65, was imprisoned too for refusing to hand over documents in what Judge Stephen Wildblood called a “ridiculous situation”.

The Times, Page: 17 The Sun, Page: 27

Posted 07/11/2018

SNP activists have called on the UK government to devolve powers over employment law to Scotland, so that bosses would be required to give abuse victims time off if they leave their partner. A motion was passed at the party’s annual conference in Glasgow saying the UK Government should either consider introducing such a law, or else hand the ability to do so to Holyrood. It came after SNP MSP Gillian Martin said that an “abused person shouldn’t have to hope her managers will be understanding” when ending a relationship. She told how New Zealand had introduce legislation requiring companies to give domestic abuse victims up to 10 days of leave from work, separate from annual holidays, if they leave their violent partner. Parts of Canada also have similar protections, she added.

Daily Mail The Scotsman, Page: 5 The Press and Journal, Page: 12-13

Posted 08/10/2018

Sajid Javid announced in his speech to the Conservative conference that women coerced into marriage by their families will be able to give evidence anonymously to block a visa for a foreign spouse. A consultation is also being started on proposals to protect victims, including adding an explicit reference to forced marriage in immigration rules, allowing it to be used as a means to refuse entry, and making it a duty for professionals to report forced marriages to the police. Mr Javid told the delegates: “It is not liberal to stay silent about illiberal practices, that’s just weakness.”

The Times, Page: 1, 2, 29

Posted 03/10/2018

Planned no-fault divorce reforms are flawed, Baroness Deech has said as she warned that MPs and peers were likely to water them down. Lady Deech said she believes Parliament will decline to remove fault from divorce and will instead follow the Scottish model, which allows divorce after shorter separations. Separately, Vardags has offered unhappy wives the chance to dip into a £10m loan fund to pay for a divorce.

Daily Mail, Page: 26

Posted 01/10/2018

Sir James Munby has warned that the lack of legal rights for long-term unmarried couples is the next “long-standing injustice” due for reform. Sir James, who recently stepped down as the most senior family judge in England and Wales, said many couples who split after years together incorrectly thought they enjoyed the same rights as married couples. He called on the government to address the disparity after the “welcome” scrapping of fault-based divorce laws.

The Times, Page: 2

Posted 24/09/2018

Connie Yates and Chris Gard, the parents of Charlie Gard who died last year, have won the backing of prominent doctors and peers to change the law to give parents more rights over what happens to sick children. Lord Mackay of Clashfern yesterday tabled an amendment to the Mental Capacity Bill that would give parents the power to move their children to a different hospital if they disagree with doctors and would compel hospitals to offer mediation with parents to resolve disputes before resorting to courts.

Daily Mail, Page: 13

Posted 06/09/2018

Shree Ladwa, an unemployed law graduate, has won half of the £1.7m home she lived in with her ex-girlfriend Beverley Chapman after claiming to have played the role of a “housewife” during the relationship. Ruling on the case, Judge Stephen Murch found that it was their “common intention” on buying the house that it would be jointly owned, rejecting Ms Chapman’s claim that she only transferred the house into joint names because of Ms Ladwa’s “undue influence”. The ruling means Ms Ladwa is entitled to a half share of the house and does not have to return a number of expensive gifts received during the 16-year relationship.

The Daily Telegraph The Times Evening Standard The Sun, Page: 26

Posted 14/08/2018


Campaigners have claimed male victims of psychological abuse may be ignored by police because of “unconscious bias”. Since a law against engaging in controlling and coercive behaviour was introduced in 2015, 272 people have been charged with the offence. Of these, just four were women. The ManKind Initiative, a helpline for male victims of domestic abuse, helped to campaign for the introduction of the law, but fears police think it is a problem faced only by women.

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 2 Daily Mail, Page: 15

Posted 13/08/2018

A High Court judge has ruled that an estranged couple’s Islamic faith marriage falls under British matrimonial law meaning the wife will be able to bring her case to the divorce court and claim her share of the assets of her marriage. Nasreen Akhter wanted to divorce Mohammed Shabaz Khan, her husband of 20 years, but he blocked it, arguing that the couple were not married under English law. Hazel Wright, a partner in the family law team at Hunters Solicitors said the ruling meant “those who would have been outside the scope of the law to help them can seek compensation in the courts if their spouse has deliberately refused to have a civil ceremony after a religious ceremony.”

The Daily Telegraph, Page: 5 The Guardian, Page: 7

Posted 02/08/2018