Showing posts from March, 2019

The Legal Aid Crisis - The Out Of Court Problem

Daniel Priestley - Writer and Editor As established in the previous article in this series discussing the current crisis, legal aid has been almost entirely removed in private family law cases. The removal of lawyers from the family court process, specifically in child arrangements issues and divorce cases, has caused an issue with the traditional process. Perhaps surprisingly, a lack of lawyers has caused more time in court and this is partially due to two out of court practices not taking place. There are two practices which lawyers would engage in before starting proceedings for a child arrangement order and other private law endeavours; they would refer their clients to mediation and they would attempt to negotiate with the other party’s lawyer outside of the courtroom. Settlements A good example of the need for out of court settlements are cases for financial orders in divorce. When parties cannot reach an agreement between them with regards to the division of joint assets o

Living The City Differently: ‘your city has a palette of grey, but that is not the way we see it’

Alison Romaine - Writer ‘The city’ is more than a territorial delineation on a map - it is reproduced by the flows that populate and activate space. Yet the mobilities of citizens are prismatic, often interweaving and are scalar in power - with curious temporality and spatially. From early morning commuters hastily navigating the concrete, to skateboarders later grazing the same curbs, it is assumed we all have equal right to the city (Lefebvre talks of ‘droit a la ville’) until the quiet spikes, sprinklers and slanting street benches creates a hostile city for the homeless. These examples of ‘defensive architecture’ as well as the rise of pseudo-public spaces, destabilises the liberalised expectations of our place in the city - as the ‘unwanted citizens’ are designed out (Andreou, 2015) to privilege the space for ‘consumers’. With this narrative, the playful sounds and activity of skateboarders have become politicized - highlighting how territory is not just the possession of a ce

Was T.R. Malthus correct in his concerns about population growth?

Matthew Hodder - Writer Thomas Robert Malthus was “the first professional economist” (Barber, 1967, p.57) who became known for his ‘Theory of Population’. In his work he tried to explain how the growing human population would outstrip the level of food production and consequently would result in mass misery and strife. Whilst he may have been proven incorrect by his failure to account for the rate of technological progress, this article will explore a way in which Malthus may have been right to worry: that of the impact of population growth on climate change. We will first examine the content of Malthus’s argument, and his Law of Population, followed by an overview of the changes to climate. We will then argue that because of the strain placed on Earth’s resources, and human practices, Malthusian worries may be applied to the modern context of environmental changes. To begin the article, it would be helpful to establish some brief, but significant, elements of Malthus’s argument. F

Feminist Waves and the Rule of Gender Performativity

Orlagh Turner - Writer Feminism - one word with so many opinions. Many embrace the word whilst others reject it. But no matter whether you support or don’t support this movement, it is still around attempting to combat the social oppression women face on a daily basis. Nevertheless, this asks the question, why is feminism such a controversy in society? Is it because of the intrinsic patriarchal views that are we are brainwashed into believing from a young age, that tell us feminism is a bad thing? And in even more depth, how does feminism tie in with gender and gender performativity? These are the questions that should be asked and ones that will be attempted to be answered. Having already gone through the first and second waves of feminism that conquered political and domestic stigmas against women, the third wave is a bit more complicated. There is confusion as to whether we are still in the third wave or even what it consists/ed of, which is why this movement of feminism is so a

Language Decay: Reality or Myth

Sophie Bond - Writer It has been a well-known debate amongst linguists for years as to whether our language is getting worse, often referred to as language decay. You may have heard the comment ‘teenagers are ruining the language’ at least once in your lives; by using slang and abbreviations of the language. But is this just down to this generation of teenagers speaking ‘improper’, or has the language been changing for quite some time; generation after generation? Let me take you back to the 18th century when a bunch of upper-class men decided their version of English was the proper way to talk and all the peasants with regional dialects are destroying the language. Unlike French and many other languages, we did not have a language academy to determine this for us; just a bunch of aristocrats pushing the concept of standardisation. Standardisation can be defined as the attempt to perfect and then fix a language to prevent it from deteriorating. Crazy, right? I mean it doesn’t take

No Fault Divorce

Eleanor Parsons - Writer This piece will consider the introduction of No Fault Divorce into English and Welsh law, particularly following the highly publicised case of Owens v Owens in 2018. It will consider the old position, the one to be introduced shortly, as well as the pros and cons of this area of Family law, alongside a brief comparison with other jurisdictions. The Process Contrary to popular belief, not everybody applies for a divorce is granted one automatically. In English and Welsh law, there is only one ground for divorce - irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. For this to be satisfied, there must be one of five facts proven - adultery, unreasonable behaviour, desertion, 2 years separation with consent and 5 years separation without. This is set out under the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Section 2 of the Act requires that a court cannot rule on irretrievable breakdown unless one of those facts has been proven. This process is widely accepted as trite law in Engla

IS Bride - An Issue of Human Rights?

Edward Baker - Writer Former Islamic State member Shamima Begum has lost her fight in returning to the UK; this defeat came from the Home Office’s harsh and rapid revocation of her citizenship. The decision has been widely accepted across media outlets and in the opinion of the general public, due to the abhorrent stigma that is attached to IS fighters and terrorism in general. On the whole it would be difficult to view why anyone would approve of a terrorist being granted permission to return to home soil after abandoning British values. However due to the quick process in which this decision has found itself, met with the facts of the Shamima case, another view could be more appealing considering a Human Rights application. The legal basis of stripping Mrs Begum of her citizenship has been enacted solely on her supposed dual nationality with Bangladesh. Under the British Nationality Act 1981, it is possible to remove citizenship providing no statelessness occurs as a result. This

Legal History Made: The First FGM Conviction

Lily Frost - Writer & Deputy Editor On February 1st 2019, the United Kingdom took a large step towards eventually ending the practice of FGM in the United Kingdom. The court that saw this history in the making was the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales, also known as The Old Bailey. The court heard a trial against a Mother and Father for subjecting their three year old daughter to FGM. The trial was ongoing for three weeks with the Jury deliberating for less than a day. The Jury cleared the Father of all charges, whilst finding the Mother guilty of the charges made against her. This conviction marks the first case of its kind with it being the first trial in the UK’s legal history where a defendant is found guilty under the Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003. The trial was upsetting for all parties involved , however the outcome of this trial has meant that the child has been given justice. The Defense’s Version of Events  The Mother’s and Father’s respective legal co

Civil Partnerships for All

Daniel Priestley - Writer and Editor In the UK currently, opposite-sex couples have the right to marry and have done for many hundreds of years. Same-sex couples have only recently obtained this right in 2014 with the introduction of gay marriage under the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013, which was passed by the coalition government. Previous to this the government attempted to answer the question of same-sex marriage by granting couples the right to form civil partnerships - perceived by some as a halfway house to marriage, but this right was not made available to opposite-sex couples. In this article I will discuss the nature of civil partnerships, the current state of the law and the argument as to why opposite-sex couples should be granted the right to form civil partnerships. What is a Civil Partnership? Civil partnerships were created in 2004 under the Civil Partnerships Act 2004 and have been available since 2005 to give same-sex couples similar legal and financial pr