In July 2015 it was announced that there would be a consultation regarding the proposed closures of 91 courts in England and Wales. That consultation has now come to an end and the result was published on the 11th February 2016. Unfortunately, the outcome is that 86 of the proposed 91 courts are to close. Following the consultation - five courts in the Merseyside and Cheshire area will close.

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A heterosexual couple has been unsuccessful in their attempts to take the Government to Court regarding the making of civil partnerships available for straight couples. Their argument has been that they do not wish to be married as they take the view that marriage has too many historical and out of date connotations for the roles that men and women play.

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Domestic Abuse - A new 'drive' to aid prevention

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

The Government recently announced that a pilot scheme will be tried for an intensive programme called 'Drive', an initiative directed at those who are perceived to be the most serious domestic violence offenders.

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My attention this week has been drawn towards the devastating case of Poppi Worthington. Poppi was found with serious injuries at her home in Barrow in December 2012 and died in suspicious circumstances at the age of 13 months. Her father, Paul Worthington, 48, was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault but was not charged with any offence. Following the findings of senior Family Court Judge, Mr Justice Peter Jackson, the CPS is now reviewing the case. It is understood the case will be re-examined at the highest level.

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Coercive Control – New Law Comes Into Force

By Paul Hunt at 00:00

A much anticipated addition to the domestic violence legislations has come into force. The new law, brought into force in England and Wales, follows a Home Office consultation in which 85% of participants said the existing law did not provide sufficient protection. This new addition provides for criminal sanctions for coercive control which stop short of actual physical violence. It comes as Citizens Advice published figures showing a 24% rise in those seeking advice for domestic abuse.

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