Sir J Munby, President of the High Court’s Family Division, has said that there is a need to move away from judges holding hearings in a “palais de justice, sitting on an enormous throne”. He has also stated that courtrooms in the future, must be provided “where we need them” and pop-up courts could be held in buildings such as pubs or town halls.
F. Gibbs, legal editor for The Times, told of how Sir Munby suggested that litigants could even participate in Power of Attorney matters with online video links “from their kitchen tables”.
In March this year, Sir Munby even claimed that divorces will take place over mobile phones or laptops from next year (2017), with an online system meaning neither husband, wife nor the judge will need to be in a courtroom.
He said the click-for-divorce process was a “vision not of some distant future but what has to be”, and that the court system would no longer be “moored in the world if the late Mr Charles Dickens”.
A couple who agree to divorce will be able to answer online questionnaires about their marital history, wealth and income as well as arrangements made for their children. The online divorce costs around £400, saving a couple thousands of pounds in legal fees.
Click-for-divorce is all well and good if the couple amicably agree to divorce, but what about the cases where a spouse is being stubborn and making an amicable divorce impossible?
And what’s stopping a claimant getting pissed before their case is heard if we do have ‘courts’ held in pubs?
I know life evolves and so must the law but a court should be held in a building purposefully made for those matters, not in the local boozer with the local drunk watching over proceedings.
Family matters should be heard in private, I fail to understand why a family case would be held in a public place, it isn’t in the public’s interest to hear if A is divorcing B because they have cheated on them with C and now A has an STD as a result of B’s infidelity. All it will do is cause public humiliation for all parties involved.
Sorry but I have to say I’m out on this one!