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Children are the most important people in the Family Justice system and their voice needs to be heard in proposed reforms to Family Justice, says an independent panel set up to review how it could be reformed.

Home Office Minister James Brokenshire has announced that from 1st July 2011 the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) centre will use its expertise in protecting vulnerable children to take the lead in missing children's services across the UK.

The Umeå University in Sweden has recently published research which shows that while commuting to work can offer couples substantial benefits in terms of income and career opportunities, it can have a very negative effect on their relationships. According to the findings, the risk of separation or divorce is 40% higher among long-distance commuters than amongst couples who work closer to home.

The European Commission (EC) is proposing a package of measures to ensure a minimum level of rights, support and protection for victims of crime across the EU, no matter where they come from or live.

A ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union has stated that a supplementary retirement pension paid to a partner in a civil partnership, which is lower than that granted in a marriage, may constitute discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. This is the case if the partnership is reserved to persons of the same gender and if it is in a legal and factual situation comparable to that of marriage.

A report published by the Home Affairs Committee has called for the Government to criminalise forced marriages to send a strong message that forced marriages will not be tolerated.

Family division High Court Judge Sir Paul Coleridge has called for an Independent Commission into the state of Family Law in the UK.

Brits are showing caution with their finances when they decide to move in with a new partner, research from online bank first direct reveals. The findings show that for the majority, financial commitment is not on the agenda with couples keeping their distance in their money and property arrangements.

The court closure programme to be implemented by the government as part its cost cutting measures will lead to the closure of a high number of Specialist Domestic Violence Courts (SDVC), reports the Law Society Gazette. According to the Gazette, as many as one in six of the specialist courts could be scheduled for closure.

A report published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown that almost all OECD countries have seen a rise in poverty levels amongst households with children. The Doing Better for Families report calls for governments to ensure they have family support policies in place which protect the most vulnerable.

Recent figures released by the Child Support Agency (CSA) show that the Agency gave a stable performance in the final quarter of the last financial year.

Recent research by Unbiased.co.uk has revealed that UK taxpayers will waste nearly £1.3 billion this year due to poor inheritance tax (IHT) planning. This tax wastage is only set to increase further in the future after the chancellor announced in 2010 that the threshold would remain frozen for four years at £325,000 rather than rising in line with inflation.

Local areas are now required to undertake new action to tackle domestic homicide following any case where someone has been killed by their current or former partner.

The Director of Public Prosecutions has said that women in England and Wales are still more at risk of crime in their own homes than anywhere else. Speaking at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) headquarters in central London, Keir Starmer QC said domestic violence is a "serious and pernicious" form of crime and that while much progress has been made in prosecuting offenders in recent years, police and prosecutors must do more to tackle it.

New rules on mediation for separating couples that are now in force are broadly welcome, but contain worrying flaws because the Government has acted in indecent haste, said family law association Resolution.

The Government Equalities Office has launched a public consultation exercise outlining its proposals for allowing civil partnerships to be registered on religious premises. The consultation follows the Government's announcement in February of this year that it would be implementing section 202 of the Equalities Act 2010 to remove the legal prohibition on such registrations taking place.

From 6 April, mediation will be required for divorcing couples before attending court. Such compulsory mediation is to be conducted with the aim of resolving any disputes over matrimonial finances or issues regarding their children prior to an application being made to the court.

 

The family justice system needs significant reform to tackle delays and ensure that children and families get the service they deserve, says an independent panel set up to review how the system works.

The Justice Select Committee has published a report expressing concerns over the Government's reform proposals for legal aid in England and Wales, with particular reference to the possible impact on family law cases.

A woman has lost her bid in the High Court to have her divorce settlement from her ex-banker substantially increased.