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.
I am so very sorry to be writing this blog post and sorry too if this is how you learn the sad news that Judge Joanne Harris has died. I wonder how much more she could have borne of a life in which she was cruelly robbed of three of her great pleasures (see this piece she wrote recently for the Guardian) and for that reason and that reason only I am thankful it is over. Along with a huge number of friends and family members, I will miss her greatly and think of her often and she will remain the centre of a network which she knitted together and nurtured. I am grateful to those who took care of her in life and through her illness so that she knew she was loved. She was a great friend to me particularly during our years of studying together for the CPE & Bar (which often involved lots of her 3 great pleasures - hours of heated legal debate (which she usually won, especially if it involved land law), a bottle of red wine & a slice or two of her piece de resistance - spanakopita pie!). She was kind, funny and sharp, qualities that made her a much respected and liked tribunal as well as friend. Her strength of character was sadly tested by a number of challenging life events and it was not found wanting. Despite this she managed always to have compassion for those who were not so capable. I take inspiration from her example. Life is short but it is for living. Don't waste a second and fill it with love.