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President envisages radical reform of divorce law

Sir James Munby urges changes to private law cases

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has questioned whether divorce should remain subject to judicial supervision. In a speech at the Legal Wales Conference in Bangor he asked whether it was now appropriate to legislate to remove all concepts of fault as a basis for divorce so that irretrievable breakdown would be the sole ground (presumably without the five facts which constitute the reasons for divorce). This, he conjectured, might lead to separating the process of divorce from that of adjudicating claims for financial relief following divorce.

Sir James said that the child arrangement programme and the fact that parties will no longer be represented in the majority of cases demand a new approach to private law cases.

For more details of the President's speech, which considered other reforms of family law, see the report in The Law Society's Gazette.