An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
In the third edition of this fundamental guide and handbook on family law, Thorpe LJ in his Foreword comments that ‘I now survey a family justice system in crisis,’ continuing with a fair appraisal of the current feelings on display in this area of law… ‘Never has the morale of the specialists from every discipline been so low.’ How right he is about modern practice in this division!
The Family Justice Council are to be congratulated on providing a first rate guide for what many feel to be an ignored area of practice consigned to those in certain areas of the legal profession … Like us, as counsel in the common law system providing for social justice. This handbook has been needed for some time with its common sense approach to a subject where little common sense is often on display and the third edition is just right for our needs at the moment.
Elizabeth Walsh and Gillian Geddes are to be congratulated on producing the sort of material we could never find 20 years ago in one place. A particular device used here is the margin on every page which works well for the busy advocate giving spot on references and a breathing space to make notes. It is indeed a short practice guide which should be in all retiring rooms and is fundamental reading for those who propose to practice in the family division.
At just over 400 pages, it is not too long but gives us six important chapter headings to cover this complex alliance between several diverse professions which converge at the family courts. The book, not thankfully a text book but with some detailed law, meets the gap between the practitioner's desires for the right outcome of a hearing and the quick identification of where to find something when time and emotion are not on one's side.
Walsh & Geddes has produced the most realistic antidote to the continuing crisis in family matters so often ignored until breaking point arrives. It fills another gap, too- it is readable for both the newcomer and the experienced practitioner at all levels with the sort of information we need, and with the right level of detail in a handy sized edition.
The handbook is also some comfort for those advising embittered and embattled spouses and families in an era of depleted resources. Whilst the future for family work is not too rosy, this excellent family friend is a rose between the thorns.
So, thank you Jordans Publishing and the FJC for this excellent support material.