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27 April 2009


Moves by Brussels to force UK courts to apply foreign laws in divorce cases are condemned by the latest report from the Centre for Social Justice. European Family Law: Faster Divorce and Foreign Law reveals that EU officials are seeking to tear up 200 years of legal precedent and to require English and Welsh courts to follow foreign jurisdictions where the divorcing couple comes from another EU country.

The report, written by David Hodson and the CSJ Family Law Review, also repudiates the EU's decision, to require divorce proceedings of so-called 'international couples' to be heard in the first court to receive the relevant papers.

It warns that this arrangement, known as Brussels II, is contributing to family breakdown by encouraging an aggrieved spouse to rush to law without considering the scope for mediation and reconciliation.

The interim report anticipates a full report due this summer.

European Family Law: Faster Divorce and Foreign Law




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The CSJ will host a series of exciting fringe meetings this autumn at the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Party Conferences. There will be fringe meetings on all CSJ policy work dealing with the most topical social issues of our time, including welfare reform, family and education.

If your organisation would like to take advantage of these sponsorship opportunites please contact Chris Bullivant on 020 7340 9650.


The Conservative Party has adopted further policy recommendations from the CSJ this month. Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps MP (pictured) released the Green Paper Strong Foundations on 7 April 2009 with a commitment to reward tenants' positive behaviour with an equity share in their social rented property and measures to end dependency on social housing, as described in the CSJ report Housing Poverty.


Justice Secretary Jack Straw MP, is due to announce today the dilution of his £1.3bn Titan Prison programme. The decision not to build three prisons, which warehouse 2,500 prisoners each, is a welcome move in the right direction.

But plans announced today for five prisons holding 1,500 inmates still do nothing, however, to address an expensive prison system that does not work to reduce reoffending rates.

Smaller, community prisons with an emphasis on rehabilitation proposed in CSJ report Locked Up Potential are both cheaper to set up than Titans and more effective at reducing reoffending rates - with long term savings to the public purse in consequence.

(Picture [l-r]: Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Chairman of the CSJ; Jonathan Aitken, Chairman of the CSJ Prison Reform Working Group; Philippa Stroud Executive Director of the CSJ.)


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