IT WON’T have escaped anyone’s attention that in a week's time, we have another General Election. I thought it might be helpful to summarise the main parties’ manifesto pledges, as they may affect family law.

The Conservative Party Their manifesto Forward, together – Our Plan for a Stronger Britain and a Prosperous Future was launched on Thursday 18 May.

The main Family Law issues are: Access to justice: p Continue to modernise courts, improving court buildings and facilities and making it easier for people to resolve disputes and secure justice

  • Introduce a Domestic Violence and Abuse Bill and create a domestic violence and abuse commissioner
  • Ensure publicly-funded advocates have specialist training in handling victims before taking on serious sexual offences cases.
  • Ensure that child victims and victims of sexual violence are able to be cross-examined before their trial without the distress of having to appear in court.
  • Will not repeal or replace the Human Rights Act while the process of Brexit is underway.
  • Remain signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights for the duration of the next parliament.

Labour Party Their manifesto, For The Many Not The Few, was launched on Tuesday 16 May.

The main issues for Family Law are: p Introduction of no-fault divorce procedure.

  • Continue to extend the use of technology in our court service where it enhances access to justice, timely dispute resolution and efficient administration.
  • Retain the Human Rights Act.
  • Immediate reintroduction of legal aid for private family law matters in the courts.
  • Extend legal aid for the preparation of judicial review.

Liberal Democrat Party Their manifesto, Change Britain’s Future, was launched on Wednesday 18 May, and the main issues for Family Law are:

  • Ensure that the UK retains international arrangements for jurisdiction, the recognition and enforcement of judgments and for family cases under the EU Brussels I and Brussels II regulation and the Hague child abduction convention.
  • Conduct an urgent and comprehensive review of the effects of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act on access to justice.
  • Review the investigation, prosecution, procedures and rules of evidence in cases of sexual and domestic violence.
  • Reverse the massive increases in court and tribunal fees.
  • Continue to modernise and simplify court procedures.
  • Oppose any attempt to withdraw from the ECHR and abolish or water down the Human Rights Act.

For me, the most interesting of all of the above proposals, are those in relation to domestic abuse, Legal Aid and the Labour Party’s proposal to finally introduce a ‘no fault’ based divorce, something many family lawyers have been campaigning for for years.