Consultative Briefings

Consultative Briefings

Here you will find the latest consultative briefings produced by Voice for Justice UK that have been published online. We also offer free resources, available to download here and resources that are available to purchase – available here.

Reducing Family Conflict & Reform of the Legal Requirements for Divorce

Government Consultation | September – December 2018

The government is consulting on a radical and controversial overhaul of the law on divorce in England and Wales. One of the main reforms would be to allow divorce on mere notification of irretrievable breakdown by either one or both spouses, abolishing any need to provide evidence of fault, i.e., providing a legal reason why the marriage has broken down. This would make divorce into a purely administrative process where one spouse could in effect walk free of the marriage by notification.

When the reason for marriage breakdown is not legally needed as a condition for divorce, this is sometimes known as “no-fault” divorce. Other aspects of the proposed changes include abolishing the right of a spouse to contest a divorce. Of the consultation, the Government “seeks views on the detail of how best to change the law to reduce family conflict and strengthen family responsibility.” It claims this consultation marks its “commitment to strengthen support for children and families”. The argument that allowing no-fault divorce is somehow capable of strengthening families is deeply controversial, and we understand that such provision will weaken families and undermine the security of children.

The last major reform of divorce law took place nearly fifty years ago. The Government’s current proposals for no-fault divorce builds on an existing campaign pushed by The Times newspaper and Sir Paul Coleridge of the Marriage Foundation.

Voice for Justice UK produced its own Briefing document on this Consultation

The Ministry of Justice Consultation Document

Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education

Government Consultation | July – November 2018

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 placed a duty on the Education Secretary to make Relationships Education (RelEd) compulsory at primary school, and Relationships and Sex Education (RSE) compulsory at secondary school. This duty would be accomplished through regulations (Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education (England) Regulations 2019). The 2017 Act further gave discretionary power to the Secretary of State for Education to make Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE), or elements of it, compulsory in all schools.

The Department for Education had previously issued a Call for Evidence, when views were sought from organisations on subject content. The Government has said that these findings helped shape the form of the draft regulations, statutory guidance and regulatory impact assessment, which became the subject of the Consultation on RelEd and RSE, opened on 19 July 2018, closing on 7 November 2018.

The statutory draft guidance contains both the content to which schools will need to have regard in their delivery of RelEd, RSE and PSHE, and also the legal obligations falling on schools in their teaching of these three fields.

This Consultation sought views from all parties on the draft regulations and statutory guidance relating to RelEd and RSE and PSHE. It also sought opinions as to whether this guidance provided sufficient information and support to schools in the teaching these subjects.

The Department for Education has said it will consider the responses submitted to the consultation process when it finalises the draft regulations and statutory guidance. The Regulations will then be put before Parliament for final debate before implementation by Statutory Instrument, at which point the Department for Education will also publish its accompanying Guidance.

Voice for Justice UK produced its own Briefing document on this Consultation

The Department for Education Draft Guidance

The Draft Regulations

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