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The Return Of Parliament And What It Means For Family Law

Any person can be forgiven for being confused as to what is happening in UK politics at the moment. 

At a time when some felt it was of utmost importance for decisions to be made regarding Brexit, MPs were dismissed from Parliament.  The proroguing of Parliament had been met with anger from Remainers and rejoice from Brexiteers.

Yesterday’s (24th September 2019) ruling that Boris Johnson’s decision to prorogue Parliament was unlawful brought yet more differences in opinion, between outrage that the Judiciary has ‘interfered’ with the sovereignty of Parliament and the fact that the Judiciary has been right in enforcing the rule of law.

Richard Atkins QC, chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, said:

“The rule of law and the independence of the judiciary are fundamental pillars of our constitution and our democracy – as today’s judgement proves.”

Despite the confusion, the threats towards the Judiciary from ‘No. 10 sources’ and a country deeply divided, there are still those who are fighting for important changes to family law and are taking advantage of MPs return.

Yesterday the charity Relate tweeted:

“As Parliament has not been prorogued, the Government Bills which had previously fallen are now live.  @relate_charity urges all MPs to complete the passage of the Domestic Abuse Bill and the Divorce, Separation & Dissolution Bill as soon as possible.”

It is not only charities, who have fought for the two Bills, that are taking advantage of the Supreme Court’s decision and the recall of Parliament; the importance of the Bills being passed is at the forefront of some MPs’ minds.

Jess Phillips, Labour MP for Birmingham Yardley, tweeted:

“I will make my way to Parliament and get there by this evening and I will start to table questions on the Domestic Abuse Bill”

MP Jess Phillips reassured her supporters by further replying to them saying that she will also be raising the subject of the Divorce Bill.

With all the confusion that still remains as to what is going to happen with Parliament, a possible general election and whether the UK leaves the EU at the end of October, will MPs actually have the time to pass important bills that had been thought to have been killed off?  Brexit will almost certainly take centre stage, as it has been over the last two years, but will the Domestic Abuse Bill and Divorce Bill carry on ticking away in the background with the help of MPs, charities and the Law Society?

It seems unlikely that either of the family law bills will receive Royal Assent before January, however it is encouraging that they have supporters wanting to ensure they are not pushed to the side and ignored, despite the confusion that engulfs the county.

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