Judges destroy the Family Courts

Robert Whiston discusses Judge Munby’s pretence;

 “I am ashamed”  (Telegraph 2apr04) that Munby is not to blame.

These judges are something else!


The Ormrod Legacy


The Ormrod Legacy.

Further to your email of yesterday, Mumby has not inherited something he cannot change. There is no legislation that prevents him helping fathers - only Ormrod's and Denning's view of men and divorce.


"Sword and Wig" (pp 201-203) Dunn LJ (Family Appeal Court judge) " ......... In 1971 George Baker succeeded Jack Simon, who became a Law Lord, as President of the Family Division. George was the first puisne judge to have been appointed President and I felt that the appointment had been down-graded. Hitherto the President, like the Lord Chief Justice and the Master of the Rolls, had become a peer after his appointment. Not any more. Harry Phillimore should have been President, but was already ill with a fatal disease. A cousin of Harry's had been the first President and Harry was well qualified for the position. George was a sound judge, a good administrator and very supportive of his judges. But he did not have the vision required for the development of the law following the reforms of 1970. This fell to Roger Ormrod who, practically single-handed for twelve years, both in 'the Family Division and the Court of Appeal, revolutionised the whole approach to divorce law and moulded the present law of divorce. He refused to regard the Family ...

Page 202

Division as a court of morals and was essentially concerned with the practical consequences of divorce: the custody of the children, the provision of a house and proper financial provision for the wife and children. The first difficulty was presented by the use of the word `conduct' in the 1973 Property Act. At first time-consuming trials were held in chambers, where all property proceedings took place, akin to the former defended divorce cases. The purpose of these was to apportion blame for the breakdown of the marriage, rather on the lines of contributory negligence in an action for tort, so that the wife's share of the property could be reduced if she had been found to have been substantially to blame for the breakdown. I never heard it suggested that her share should be increased if the husband was to blame. As the financial cases were always heard after the decree, this sometimes gave rise to difficult questions of estoppel and resulted in many defended divorce cases which the reforms had been designed to prevent. But a more serious objection was that in almost all cases there was simply not enough money to go round and if a discount for conduct was made from the wife's share she would not have enough to support herself and the children. The judge had little enough room for manoeuvre as it was, without having to make some arbitrary deduction for `conduct'. In 1973 in a case called Wachtel, Roger boldly announced, as was the fact, that in almost all cases both parties were to blame, usually in approximately equal shares, so that in financial proceedings conduct should be disregarded unless it was `both obvious and gross'. This decision was upheld by the Court of Appeal and had a dramatic effect on subsequent financial proceedings. Matrimonial conduct could be ignored and the judges were able to concentrate on the practical problems facing the family after the divorce.

Roger did not confine his reforming zeal to financial considerations. Although for many years in children's cases the law had required that the first and paramount consideration was the welfare of the child, the judges had whittled this away by seeking also to do justice as between the parents and by giving weight to the wishes of an `unimpeachable spouse'. When he was in the Court of Appeal Roger succeeded in sweeping away all these old cases, saying that there was no such thing as an 'unimpeachable' spouse and that justice between the parties could only be done after an exhaustive inquiry into the marriage, which would not help the resolution of the issue of custody. As the years passed many began to say that the pendulum of reform had swung too far in favour of wives; that the courts were too biased in favour of wives being granted custody of their children; and that it was wrong that a promiscuous or nagging wife should have the same financial provision as a faithful loving wife. This criticism did not deter Roger, who had had nine years experience of trying defended divorce cases before the reforms and knew that in the great majority of cases the wife, whatever her defects of character, was the more suitable person to bring up the children, especially if they were young. It followed that she must be able to provide a home for them and must have sufficient financial provision to enable her to maintain as nearly as possible the standard of life which the family had previously enjoyed.

Page 203

He was not sympathetic to husbands who maintained that they could bring up the children as well as their wives, saying that such men usually either neglected their children or gave up their jobs and became so engrossed in the children that they grew up in an unnatural environment. Women, he maintained, were much better at combining their function of a mother with an ability to lead a normal life outside the family. As Roger and I had been in chambers together were, naturally, close to one another and after I became a judge we would often lunch together in the Inner Temple and discuss our cases. I was much influenced his ideas which I supported.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: Ivor Catt <ivorcatt@electromagnetism.demon.co.uk>
  To: john green <vallavender@msn.com>; euro-dads@yahoogroups.com
  Cc: Joshua Rozenberg <Joshua.Rozenberg@telegraph.co.uk>
  Date: 26 April 2004 09:54
  Subject: perjury

  Further to my emails of yesterday.

  Led by Denning's example, our senior Family Court Judges have corrupted and undermined all of the the core values of our legal system which were admired throughout the world; innocent until proved guilty, right to a fair trial, beyond resonable doubt criterion in criminal matters; right to representation; justice to be seen to be done, right of appeal, disapproval of perjury, and so on. To do this, they had to introduce and extend court secrecy so as to evade accountability. Munby framed and jailed Mark Harris when he demonstrated against their behaviour. Now the Attorney General seeks to jail Pelling for exposing their behaviour. See www.fathercare.org .

  It is important that judges in our other court systems distance themselves from the Family Courts. When these irresponsible Family Court senior judges force us to close down the Family Courts, it is important that our criminal court system be saved.
  Ivor Catt         26apr04

[Denning was lambasted in the Appeal Court for his contempt for Case Law – the Law of Precedent. Following Denning and Sloss, these are the very judges who pioneered contempt for Precedent – Case Law. When it comes to putting right the damage done by Denning and themselves, in defiance of Case Law (and even of Statute), will they suddenly find themselves defenders of Precedent? At the same time, will they continue to defy the other half of the Denning package – his denunciation of court secrecy, even where children are involved? Are they just cherry-picking to placate radfems, and even cherry-picking from their hero Denning? – IC 28apr04]

  cc Munby,
  13 Ravensdon St.,
  London  SE11 4AQ

  cc Thorpe,
  Beech House, High St.,
  Seend, Nr. Melksham,

  cc Margaret Driscoll. Editorial,
  Sunday Times, 1 Pennington St.,
  London E98 1ST


Homepage | Electromagnetism1 | Old Website