About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

New roundup

Various news stories have caught my eye in the last couple of days:

Bruce Hyman, reportedly the only barrister ever to be sent to jail for attempting to perverting the course of justice, was sentenced to 12 months in prison when he sent his opponent, a father acting in person in a residence / contact dispute, an email referring to a fake case. Readers may remember the shockwaves this sent through the legal community at his extraordinary behaviour. Readers may also remember the vast quantity of character references submitted to the court on his behalf, including one from no less a figure than the President of the Family Division, Sir Mark Potter (the father in the case has made an official complaint against the President). For a reminder of the earlier media coverage see this Guardian report here The Judge in sentencing Hyman indicated that he should serve at least six months. I was somewhat surprised to learn that Hyman has in fact been released after only two months in custody and even more surprised that this fact seems only to have had limited media coverage – I read about it in the Ham & High . The victim of Hyman’s hoax has raised the issue of his early release with the MoJ via his MP.

The UK’s first drug & alcohol court, spearheaded by DJ Crichton in Wells Street in Central London had its official launch today. For further background see the Guardian .

There is much media interest in the impact of Lord Laming’s recommendations, following his inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbie (listen again or read the transcript for the recent File on 4 feature on the Laming report on Radio 4). The Guardian flags this up in the context of the death of two children in Hackney who were killed a year ago on Monday by their mother. Despite her mental health problems and history of violence Hackney social services sanctioned her unsupervised contact. The children’s father and family are waiting to see whether they will be given access to the full report into their deaths following an investigation by the Hackney Safeguarding Children Board. The director of the Victoria Climbie foundation is calling for an independent inquiry into the children’s deaths and an urgent review of Lord Laming’s reforms. The father says that he was not told about mother’s diagnosis amongs other vital pieces of information.

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