Ask a perfect stranger on the street if they know anything about family law and they will look at you as if you have asked them to say something witty about quantum mechanics (yes, we asked).  But ask them if they know anything of Baby Peter or the details of a high-profile divorce and you get a completely different reaction.

Suddenly, your stranger is animated, involved and filled with often seriously interesting insight on the state of our legal system and the consciousness of our nation. And it’s not just strangers…. Friends of Researching Reform routinely call up to talk about that latest shock judgment in the Court of Protection, or that super-unusual outburst from the Prime Minister on fathers during Fathers Day. Yes, family law by any other name would be as interesting, except if we call it family law.

So, slinking around the net as we do, we thought we’d share with you the best of the rest, the news items that sometimes go under the radar but are worthy of attention and the stories that inspire and fascinate because family is for everyone.

First up is a slightly bizarre story of a woman in Singapore who wants a divorce from her husband because she believes he is responsible for their son’s slipping grades. The article is well written and gets to the heart of the matter, namely that the problem lies with mum and not the little one or the Dad…. for thought-provoking content we came across another blog entry from Baroness Deech, talking about the welcome increase in funds to low-income families but goes on to fly the flag for working women by trying to encourage women into the workplace to use their hard-earned education and talks about female barristers and how life has changed at the Bar for them. She very touchingly expresses the sentiment that she expects to be lambasted by full-time mothers and the comments that follow her blog post are worth a read, but she does have a point – women should have a choice.

And finally, a hugely controversial entry this week: The Uk Column is hosting an event on Sunday 23rd October called “Blowing the Whistle – Child Stealing By the State“. The conference’s agenda as explained on the website is to: expose and bring to trial those helping the State to steal and abuse children. It does say in the preamble that the event is not about discussing “the “issues” and “concerns” with children, and to set out a way to “help reform the system”, as some MPs suggest.” (Gosh, we hope that’s not a dig at Researching Reform…! 🙂 ) but is about naming “names, departments, authorities, organisations, judges, MPs, police, psychiatrists and more”. Researching Reform is very much for exposing wrongdoing, so we hope that those being highlighted have indeed behaved badly, for if they have not, the credibility of a worthy cause will be irreparably damaged and the cost of that for reformation purposes may be high.

Child trafficking does need to be taken seriously and historically there have been widely reported cases of social workers being involved in the practice, so the conference itself is a good idea, however the care needed to make it productive rather than fraught with destructive potential is another matter. We did notice this last phrase on the website:

“Have you attended meetings in Westminster that ‘pat you on the head’ and achieve nothing? – then you need to attend and be an active participant in Blowing the Whistle – Child Stealing by the State”.

Given that we seem to be the only group organising these meetings, we do think there’s a dig or two there, but each to their own and good luck to the UK Column and remember: anger never wins the day; compassion and understanding, does.