Peers alarmed at Henry VIII powers in divorce bill

first_imgThe House of Lords has urged the government to chop elements of the divorce bill that would enable the lord chancellor to radically alter the reforms without parliamentary scrutiny.The Lords’ delegated powers and regulatory reform committee has been scrutinising the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, which the government says will end ‘needless antagonism’, and published its findings and recommendations last week.The bill introduces a minimum six-month period between the first and final stages of the divorce process. This comprises 20 weeks between the start of proceedings and confirmation to the court that a divorce confirmation can be made, and six weeks between a conditional divorce order and final dissolution.Ministers have described the minimum timeframe as a ‘key element of the reformed legal process’ which gives couples an opportunity for reflection.However, the Lord committee says the new sections of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 and Civil Partnership Act 2004 confer so-called Henry VIII powers on the lord chancellor to shorten the timeframe between the first and second stage of the divorce process.According to the report, the government submits that the lord chancellor would be able to make adjustments if ‘policy considerations’ made it appropriate. However, the committee says the government ‘has given no consideration at all as to what the policy considerations might be’ and calls it a ‘very weak justification for an important Henry VIII power’.The committee says: ‘New section 1(8) of the MCA permits a court to reduce the length of either stage of the divorce process in a particular case. This might allow a judge to shorten either stage if, for example, there is an urgent need to finalise a divorce in order to protect an applicant from an abusive spouse or civil partner. It is therefore wholly unclear to us why the government need to have powers which allow them to change the length of both stages for all divorces.’The government also argues that the powers re-enact existing legislation.However, the committee disagrees: ‘Existing legislation allows only for the alteration of the period between a decree nisi and a decree absolute or (for a civil partnership) between a conditional and final dissolution order. In contrast, the new powers conferred by this bill could be used in a way which radically altered the rationale for the revised divorce process.’The government is told to remove the clauses from the bill ‘on the ground that they contain an inappropriate delegation of power’.Narrower powers could be acceptable but the committee says the lord chancellor should first consult judges, the Law Society and divorce lawyers.last_img read more

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POLICE APPEAL FOR WITNESSES TO SERIOUS ROAD CRASH – A713

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInSERIOUS ROAD CRASH – A713 DRUMJOHN, CARSPHAIRNPolice are currently in attendance at a serious road crash on the A713 at Drumjohn near Carpshairn where a red Ford Fiesta and a white Asda delivery van collided around 1040 hours this morning, Friday 30 September 2016.The A713 is closed in both directions to allow the investigation to continue. Local diversions are in place.Officers are appealing to the driver of a white flat bed pick up truck – the size of a transit van – who was in the area at the time of the crash – to come forward as he or she may have information that could prove vital to the investigation.Any witnesses can contact the Roads Policing department at Stranraer Police Office via 101.last_img read more

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Chinese Medical Ship treats over 5,000 Dominicans

first_imgHealthLocalNews Chinese Medical Ship treats over 5,000 Dominicans by: – October 22, 2018 Share Share 341 Views   no discussions Tweetcenter_img Share Sharing is caring! Prime Minister, Minister for Finance and Housing Roosevelt Skerrit (file photo)A total of five thousand and thirty two Dominicans have received medical attention from the Chinese Hospital Ship, Peace Ark.The ship docked in Dominica on Friday October 12th, and opened its doors to Dominican citizens for the following week, and is now traveling to Antigua.At the farewell reception for the ship on Thursday evening, Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit said Dominica is grateful for the assistance of the People’s Republic of China in the area of health care.Mr. Skerrit went on to note that during its stay, the ship’s personnel saw approximately eight hundred persons daily, with twenty major surgeries being conducted.“It is clear from the reports that I have received from our health authorities that the coverage of ships medical personnel and facilities has indeed been impressive. During their visit here, the Peace Ark surgeons undertook 20 major surgeries, and attended to an average of 800 patients per day,” he stated.Mr. Skerrit added that due to the devastation caused to many of the medical facilities by Hurricane Maria, the ship was a relief for many Dominicans.He noted that the island’s medical service has been considerably disrupted firstly by TS Erika in 2015, and two years later by the devastating rains and winds of Hurricane Maria in 2017.He added that “even under normal circumstances, some of our patients are forced to travel overseas to receive specialized care in the more critical areas of medicine.”“The medical facilities and the professional medical staff of the Peace Ark has therefore been a God send to those patients who have been waiting for specialized care, as well as those who simply wish to verify that all was well with their health,” Mr Skerrit  further added.last_img read more

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