Archive for October 20th, 2010

I was amused by the recent edition of Private Eye (15 October) which began…

DAVID “We’re all in this together” Cameron has chosen a patriotic bunch to sit on his “business council”

The Eye article then stated that Martin Sorrell of advertising group WPP has moved his company offshore to avoid tax. Paul Walsh of drinks company Diageo has threatened to do the same. … and, of course, Sir Philip Green…giver of advice to governments on cuts and waste, has arrangements with his wife in Monaco.
All this is, of course, within the rules…. but it is ironic when the mantra of the day is “We’re all in it together”…. when, so obviously, we are not quite ALL in it together.  There are, of course, many millionaires in the current Cabinet..and it would appear a fair few millionaires or potential millionaires (when their books come out) in the Shadow Cabinet.

I don’t have any problem with businessmen and women making money – they are the lifeblood of our country – and the small businesses do also add up to employ a substantial number of people.  I just wish they would call a spade a spade.  I believe that a fair few entrepreneurs like Alan Sugar and Duncan Bannatyne (who I have been a bit caustic about recently on another matter which has, thankfully, blown over) prefer to stay here!  Full marks to them.

I hope the private sector can mop up the public sector redundancies.  There will be a fair number of talented people – so there are genuine opportunities to attract good talent?

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Law Review: Saudi prince not above our law

Justice, even for princes

Guardian: Britain’s conviction of a Saudi prince for the murder of his servant has inspired Saudi Arabians longing for impartial justice

Excellent article – written by a Saudi.

Prince Saud’s conviction gives all of us some hope that one day our people will enjoy a modern court system that sees no difference between a prince and a pauper. I am hoping that Britain might export its brand of justice to our country to help modernise our medieval judiciary. That is undeniably a better and more useful export to our people than any sales of fighter planes.

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Law Review: Pre-Nups in Family Law cases

Not being a family lawyer, and having absolutely no plans to ever marry again now that I am deliriously single  (My ex and I are good friends), I rarely take any interest in family law cases – leaving that to my friends over At Pink Tape, Family Lore and The Divorce Manual (Now Researching Reform)

The extensive  judgment of The Supreme Court to my eyes, therefore, can be summed up in this way:  “Fudge: Pre-nups are OK if we think they are OK but it is for Parliament to settle the matter.”

Read judgment

German heiress wins legal battle over pre-nuptial agreement

Katrin Radmacher, a German heiress, has won a Supreme Court case over her divorce which gives new status to pre-nuptial agreements.

The Telegraph reports: By a majority of eight to one, the justices dismissed the ex-husband’s appeal, saying that following their ruling “it will be natural to infer that parties entering into agreements will intend that effect be given to them”.

The justices said they agreed with the Court of Appeal that in the right case a pre-nup agreement can have decisive or compelling weight.

Lord Phillips, president of the Supreme Court, said the courts would still have the discretion to waive any pre-nup or post-nup agreement, especially when it was unfair to any children of the marriage.

I cannot, for the life of me see, in the 21st century, what business it is of the State or the judges to decide upon matters of divorce between consenting adults.  I have no problem at all in the State intervening to ensure that children are looked after – because if the parents can’t do it humanely and sensibly it is only right that the state shoud step in.

For my part – marriage is a relationship and just as with any relationship, if the parties wish to have a degree of formality, can be subject to the law of contract.  This is what a pre-nuptial agreement is.  And for those who are concerned that this may be unfair because a wife or husband is pressured into it – the Law of Contract does provide relief by way of Duress and undue influence.  Arrangements between consenting adults in the modern day should, if they wish it to be so, be regulated by the law of contract and not the idiosyncrasies of the values of a bygone era.

It will be interesting to see how many carpetbaggers, WAGS and Heat magazine readers will be marrying should pre-nuptial agreements gain more judicial favour.   Marrying for money may not be quite such a sensible deal in future if the pre-nup is drafted properly?!

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