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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Joanna Miles and Jens Scherpe gave presentations at a roundtable meeting in Parliament in early June chaired by Lord Marks QC, coordinated by Miles together with Professor Gillian Douglas (KCL) and Liz Trinder (Exeter). The principal aim of the event was to disseminate research regarding the reality of divorcing parties’ financial outcomes, to provide a counterpoint to media coverage of "big money" cases that have tended to dominate recent discussion of law reform in this area of family law. Miles presented findings from a recent empirical study conducted with Dr Emma Hitchings (Bristol), summarising findings to be published in greater detail later this summer in the Australian Journal of Family Law.  Scherpe gave a presentation about the perils of "faulty transplants" arising from insufficiently careful, context-sensitive exercises in comparative law. The event was attended by parliamentarians, Ministry of Justice officials, members of the Law Commission and representatives of practitioner organisations.

This was the second of a two-part series of such meetings, the first of which, held in May and chaired by Baroness Butler-Sloss, addressed the issue of divorce reform. Scherpe again provided a valuable comparative law perspective, charting the direction of travel of various European jurisdictions in divorce law and reform.