Crime and Courts Act 2013, important changes occur to the courts of England and Wales. There will be a single County Court for England and Wales and also a new Family Court.
A good summary of the changes to the County Court is available at Keith Etherington. Law and Lawyers took a look at the Crime and Courts Bill as it stood back in May 2012.
In January 2014, writing in the New Law Journal, solicitor Geraldine Morris took a look at some of the changes - New Law Journal 22nd January 2014. Here is an excellent article neatly summarising the imminent and important changes.
The Children and Families Act 2014 received Royal Assent on 13th March. Here is another blockbuster extending to 10 Parts and 7 Schedules. As with almost any new Act, it will be essential to keep a keen eye on Commencement Orders and the first such Order has been made.
The Children and Families Act 2014 (Commencement No. 1) Order 2014 - This Order brings sections 10 (Family mediation information and
assessment meetings), 13 (Control of expert evidence, and of
assessments, in children proceedings) and 17 (Repeal of restrictions on
divorce and dissolution etc where there are children) of the Children
and Families Act 2014 into force on 22nd April 2014.
This post does not seek to analyse this Act in any detail. However, other important changes within the Act include section 12 (Child Arrangement Orders - to replace contact and residence orders); Section 13 (Control of expert evidence) comes into force 22nd April; section 14 (Care, Supervision and other family proceedings: time limits and time tables); Sections 15 and 16 (Care Plans); and Part 3 will have great significance to those dealing with children and young persons with special educational needs or disabilities. In all of this, there is a great deal of the cut and paste technique beloved of Parliamentary Draftsmen and used to amend earlier legislation such as the Children Act 1989. However, Explanatory Notes to the 2014 Act are available.
Finally for this post, Same Sex Marriage is now possible. Here is an excellent post from the Marilyn Stowe Blog - Six Facts about Same Sex Marriage and Number 4 will surprise you.
Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013.
Earlier post - Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill - Features