Judge backs press opinions on law

One of the country’s top family judges has told the legal world to take notice of what the press has to say.

Mr Justice Munby branded vital aspects of the family law system “a failure” and said the public were being let down.

He was handling the case of a father who had fought through the courts for five years for the right to see his daughter but had given up the fight.

“The system has failed him,” he said.

“I feel desperately sorry for him. I am very sad the system is as it is.”

Turning to the role of the media, he said: “The newspapers make uncomfortable reading for us. They suggest that confidence in the system is already ebbing away.

“We ignore the media at our peril.

We delude ourselves if we dismiss the views of journalists as unrepresentative of public opinion or as representative only of sectors of public opinion we think we can ignore.

“Responsible voices are raised in condemnation of our system. We need to take note. We need to act now.”

By Roger Pearson

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