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Law news

Huge public support for legal aid

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Despite severe cutbacks in recent years, the public remains overwhelmingly in favour of legal aid a new report suggests. Legal needs of Individuals in England and Wales was jointly published by the Law Society and the Legal Services Board. It presents the findings of a major online survey conducted by the polling organisation YouGov last year, featuring input from over 28,000 people on 34 different legal issues: the biggest survey conducted on this topic to date. A decisive 92 per cent of respondents said they were in favour of legal aid. A significant majority (64 per cent) reported involvement in…

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Divorce linked to family history

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A person’s genetic background may influence the likelihood of them getting divorced, according to a joint US-Swedish study. Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University in the United States and Lund University in Sweden examined data concerning nearly  83,000 individuals. Previous studies had shown that the children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves in adulthood but researchers had been assumed this was due to learned behaviour. To try and shed further light on the causes, the US-Swedish team compared the marital histories of adopted children in their data to that of both their adoptive and biological parents. Lead…

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Court fee refunds now available

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The Ministry of Justice has launched a service allowing litigants who paid court fees between April 2014 and March 2018 to apply for refunds. A review in 2018 concluded that some litigants in the family and other civil courts had been overcharged during that period, with fees set above the actual costs incurred by the judicial system. The scheme applies both to overcharging and wholly erroneous fees. The Ministry noted: “As part of our ongoing improvements we are making to the justice system, we will continue to annually review the level at which court fees are set, including the methodology…

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Resolution welcomes return of ‘no fault’ divorce bill

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The family law organisation Resolution has welcomed a recent announcement that legislation introducing ‘no fault’ divorce in England is to be returned to Parliament. Following years of campaigning by Resolution and other organisations, the Divorce, Dissolution ad Separation Bill was first introduced last summer, but then suspended when Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the December 12 general election. The bill make significant changes to existing marriage law, removing the long-standing need to cite specific reasons for a divorce application or attribute fault to one party. Instead applicants will only need to state that the marriage has irretrievably broken down, and…

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