family law



Child welfare reporters regulated under proposed laws

Legislation to ensure that the rights of children are at the heart of any family law case, and that their views are heard, has passed its first hurdle at Holyrood.

Published 28 May 2020

England: Concerns raised over fairness of remote hearings introduced during lockdown

Concerns have been raised over the fairness of remote hearings in family cases, introduced during the lockdown, because of the difficulty for participants in reading each other's reactions.

Published 7 May 2020

Justice Committee gives qualified backing to child law proposals

Holyrood's Justice Committee is backing Scottish government plans to change the law on deciding parent-child contact in family breakdown cases, but is warning that it may make little practical difference to the lives of children unless it is properly resourced.

Published 1 May 2020

COVID-19: Guidance on compliance with court orders relating to parental responsibilities and rights

The Lord President, Lord Carloway has published short statement intended to offer general advice to parents and carers whose children are the subject of orders made by a court relating to parental responsibilities and rights, for example in relation to contact or residence.

Published 30 March 2020

England: Family hearings at Court of Appeal to be live-streamed

Family hearings at the Court of Appeal will be live-streamed under a joint initiative by the judiciary and UK government to boost transparency in the justice system.

Published 16 March 2020

England: Top family judge appeals for charity donations to improve courts' efficiency

The most senior family judge in England and Wales has appealed to law firms to make donations to a legal charity to help tackle delays in the family courts.

Published 10 February 2020

Twenty years of family law in the Scottish Parliament

As part of the programme to mark 20 years since the creation of the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) has been publishing twenty “20 year” blog posts on SPICe Spotlight over the course of 2019. This blog, by Sarah Harvie-Clark, senior researcher (civil law) at SPICe, examines two decades of family law in the Scottish Parliament.

Published 24 December 2019

Report critically analyses Children (Scotland) Bill 2019

A new report produced for the Scottish Parliament's Justice Committee critically analyses the Children (Scotland) Bill 2019.

Published 19 November 2019

New 'child-friendly' court form gives children greater say in contact and residence actions

Family lawyer Sarah Hay has welcomed the roll-out of a new court form giving children in Scotland as young as five years old a greater say on their own contact and residence rights.

Published 29 October 2019

Jones Whyte to host another free drop-in divorce clinic

Jones Whyte is hosting another free drop-in divorce clinic following the success of the first two.

Published 16 October 2019

University of Glasgow academics design board game to explain law on marriage

University of Glasgow academics are developing a board game to help the public negotiate the complex legal world of marriage.

Published 10 September 2019

New bill aims to put children's best interests first in family law cases

The Scottish government has published new legislation that aims to ensure children’s best interests are at the centre of every family law case and that children’s views are heard in court.

Published 3 September 2019

Scottish Law Commission seeks view from family lawyers on cohabitation

The Scottish Law Commission (SLC) is keen to hear from family law practitioners about their experiences, and those of their clients, of claims under the cohabitation provisions in the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006.

Published 12 August 2019

Legal workshops: Twenty-two years of the Scottish Parliament in child and family law

In a series of three full-day workshops this year, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, academics and practitioners will critically review the role and impact of the Scottish Parliament on child and family law in Scotland.

Published 25 July 2019

Northern Ireland: Revised timetable for abortion and same-sex marriage law backed by Lords

Plans to extend abortion access and same-sex marriage to Northern Ireland have been approved by the House of Lords, following revisions to the process and timetable.

Published 19 July 2019