Writing a book about the evolution and failings of our family justice system is a daunting task at the best of times. Not least because there is so much material to research, analyse and clarify, but also because much of the subject matter covered relates to highly contentious and often unpleasant issues.
As someone who studied both the history of English law and Family law as part of my Law degree, and having practised as a specialist family lawyer within the family justice system and researched and written about the failings of the system in my Fathers Matter books, I was understandably very interested in reading this book. The book blurb promises that it will take the reader “on a journey through the origins of the basic principles of family law and examines how and why the law has changed over the years, resulting in the disastrous system we have now.” It does not disappoint. As someone who campaigns for reform, what I was particularly interested in discovering were the author’s thoughts on what changes could be made to remedy the situation.
This is a substantial tome running to 521 pages long and approaches the subject from an academic and historical point of view. The book is very comprehensive, thoroughly referenced, well argued, and the statements made are backed up with statistical evidence and it does make for very compelling reading. Even if you do not agree with all the arguments you cannot ignore the facts.
The book is controversial – probably too controversial for some – and very disturbing in parts. I found the chapters on abuse, child protection, forced adoption and child homicide particularly harrowing and distressing. Anybody who truly cares about their family and who reads about the terrible suffering that has been endured by innocent children and their families, which could have been avoided in so many cases, could not fail to be moved. Nobody would want to be in such a vulnerable position or anyone they love for that matter.
If you are a parent looking for practical legal guidance then I think a book such as Family Law: A guide for Parents which is available from the author’s website as an Ebook would be of more practical benefit. So far as this book is concerned, I felt it would make an excellent reference book for any student of family law and anyone thinking of becoming a family lawyer or working within the profession as it will provide the person reading it with an in-depth understanding about the evolution of the family law system and how we ended up with the system we have today.
About the author Nick Langford M.A. (Oxon):
The author is a father who has been through the family legal system himself and suffered its pitfalls. He was educated at Oxford University and from 2000-2012 was Director of Research for Fathers4Justice. He is also a McKenzie Friend. He and his wife Ruth run Langford Family Law advising and assisting those affected by family breakdown, separation, children and financial issues. Nick has great experience of children’s matters ranging from residence and contact disputes to specific issues orders such as paternity, drug and alcohol testing.
To read my abridged review of the book on Amazon and other reviews and/or to purchase the book please click here.
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