The Impact of UK Departure From The EU On Family Law

As everything keeps changing with connections between the UK and EU, legislation is taking quite a hit. Who has jurisdiction over who, what decisions will be affected by new legislation both in family law and other financial and personal areas that will be on everyone’s minds. Only time will tell what the final outcome will be.

While the country is still reeling from the EU referendum, we need to take a much closer look at how departure from the EU will impact family law in England and Wales.

Family law is not a stranger in the sense of taking steps to move away from the EU which will take quite a bit of unraveling from the EU legislation. The same can be said regarding many of our other laws. Without a doubt, this will take quite some time and the process will probably drag out for quite some time. Although the long-term impacts of Brexit, or departure of the UK from the EU, may not be fully felt for quite awhile, there are many consequences in regard to future divorces from the EU.

Nigel Shepherd, chair of the family law organisation Resolution, spoke after the referendum was announced. He stressed that the results have created a period of great uncertainty. This has emphasized the uncertainty arising from the fact that family law is essentially linked to the referendum and other jurisdictions.

The EU Legislation

Being in force since 2001, Brussels IIa has been an important part of the EU legislation and offers uniformity and a certainty in recognizing the divorce proceedings in various jurisdictions of the EU. With its absence, Family Court in the UK will need to adopt new avenues for addressing some important areas that will continually pop up in matrimonial proceedings.

As a perfect example, the most significant problem in issuing divorce proceedings will be to consider whether the court you are applying to actually has jurisdiction to accept your proceedings. Even more crucial could be involving multinational couples trying to figure out which court will hear their divorce petition. This is very important because different jurisdictions have to decide financial cases in different ways. Some courts could be seen as more favourable to one party over another. In many cases, there will be a mad dash to issue the petition first to the country that will be most favourable to the spouse. What country has jurisdiction is still governed by the EU legislation.

Bear in mind, in the absence of this important EU legislation, this will lead to even more uncertainty regarding who has the jurisdiction to hear the case. It has been iterated that the courts will have to fill the vacuum with something that would be similar to Brussels II in order to address the situation.

Adding to this, the Brussels IIa allows an order that was created in England to recognised and is enforceable in other jurisdictions. Orders that are commonly affected by the EU legislation includes child custody, other arrangements and matrimonial orders that need to be addressed by the new legislation in order to stay enforceable across the borders.

Keeping agreements made between multinational couples in a divorce are governed by Brussels IIa which allows for a more uncomplicated approach for enforcement across different jurisdictions. The enforcement of these agreements will need to be addressed in light of any new legislation and will have the greatest impact on matrimonial property and who owns what in different countries.

Other Arising Issues

Although family law is not the leading victim of departure from the EU (or Brexit), there will still be a great deal of uncertainty leading up to the formal Brexit while negotiations continue with the EU and this could take a number of years.

In a time of great uncertainty for couples divorcing, there will be even greater anxieties and fears that will arise. On a broader scale, the possible impact of Brexit could lead to an increase of interest rates, a fall in pension values, and the outcome of the property market. All of these situations will also add to many more concerns in what has become a very stressful time.

What’s In The Future

That said, some analysts have suggested that while breaking away from the EU will cause a period of uncertainty, there might be an opportunity to embrace change. By drafting domestic legislation that can provide better laws than what currently exists with the EU might be a positive solution.

The final outcome cannot possibly be known at this time. Couples who are dealing with difficulties are strongly advised to seek out guidance as soon as possible. They need to fully understand the complexities of Brexit and understand the impact that they may experience both on their personal and financial circumstances.

In Conclusion

With the changes of Brexit, there will be many challenges ahead and what courses will be the most positive for family law and many other legislation. Time will tell the final impacts and outcomes and how much anxiety and stress lies ahead. Family law has many challenges yet to be seen. Couples looking for divorces should get counsel in order to understand the changes and how they will be impacted.

New Changes Within NHS Trusts That Protect Whistleblowers

The NHS is an institution that the British public is very proud of and should be lived up to. Everyone involved from doctors to nurses and other professionals within health care perform a tremendous service looking after and caring for those who are injured or ill. As of this year, in order to improve confidences within NHS, there are new policies and procedures guidelines that support whistleblowers that each National Health Service had to review.

Deliberations were concluded in May of 2016 and the final guidelines were released this year. The new policies were introduced after an intense period of discussions and after reviewing the reluctance of NHS staff to step forward with their concerns regarding the safety of patients and inadequate funding.

Many of the leading healthcare workers have long believed that speaking up had many consequences including:

They worked within a small team and feared the backlash they would get from their colleagues. They were also afraid of losing their jobs if they raised any concerns to their employer. Workers in ancillary and non-clinical positions felt they had fewer options because they did not have access to a prominent group of leaders or a union.

The National Health Service Director for Patient Experience strongly believes that in order to have the safest health system takes listening to their staff and taking action where needed. Should a staff member discover something that is putting patients at risk, they should feel safe in expressing these concerns without repercussions.

The new guidelines have been put in place to create good practices, provide primary care staffers more options in order to share their concerns, and allows employers to handle these concerns correctly. In order to have a safe NHS, there must be open and honest communication in order to routinely learn from their past mistakes. They should take these mistakes and learn how to improve their patients’ safety.

Whistleblowing can help point out bad practices going on within an organisation. That said, these claims must be honest because the final outcome could lead to criminal actions against an organisation while unveiling cover-ups that are dangerous and not in the best interests of patients.

In 2014, an independent review board, chaired by Sir Robert Francis, revealed that whistleblowers within NHS were intimidated, bullied, ignored, and, in many cases, fired. During an interview, Sir Francis stated that approximately 30% of those raising concerns felt unsafe after speaking up.

He went on to point out that 18% of staff employees did not trust the system and therefore would not speak up. Another 15% stated they were afraid of being victimised if they were to say anything at all. This climate of fear was created by a number of people losing their jobs because they chose to speak up. These people have lost their jobs, their livelihood, and have found it very difficult to find new employment. Sadly, some cases have felt suicidal tendencies or became seriously ill in the aftermath. Before releasing his report, Sir Francis said nurses, in particular, had raised many concerns regarding intimidation and bullying within NHS Trusts.

A survey conducted in 2013 of 8,262 nurses revealed that 24% had been warned against making any public statements regarding their concerns. Approximately 45% of the participants said their employers took no actions regarding their concerns and 44% were very concerned about suffering from repercussions or being fired. Other threats made them think twice about whistleblowing about dangerous or negligent practices they had witnessed.

Based on the recommendations of Sir Francis’s report, the foundation for establishing a new NHS guideline regarding whistleblowing was born. The new policies offer steps to protect the safety of NHS employees who speak up.

Each NHS Trust should appoint a Freedom To Speak Up Guardian. This individual should not be within the chain of command management group. He or she will provide support to staff members who have genuine concerns. There should be further steps taken to prevent inappropriate behaviour including harassment, discrimination, or bullying toward staff members who speak up.

All NHS primary care providers were required to review and update their policies and procedures by March of 2017. The principles of the agreed upon guidelines were then incorporated.

Last year in 2016, Dr. Henrietta Hughes, medical director for NHS England’s North Central and East London region, was named National Guardian for Safeguarding of Whistleblowers. Paraphrasing a statement after her appointment, she believed it takes a lot of courage, honesty, and selflessness to be a whistleblower. She also said that no one should ever be afraid to come forward for fear of punishment when speaking up for the safety and care of patients.

Along with her office, their national partners, and anyone who wants to support and protect staff members who speak up will help her drive a new agenda of openness. “Ultimately, these new policy guidelines will make for a safer NHS.” Staff members will have a great deal of support and gain confidence in speaking up especially for the public’s interest in safety.

The Case Of Dr. Hayley Dare – Feb 11, 2015:
Dr. Dare had a perfect 20-year reputation for helping patients and excellence within her field. Her entire career was damaged when she chose to speak up about concerns for patients’ safety to the CEO of the West London Mental Health NHS Trust. Absolutely no one should ever have to go through such a horrific experience like she did.

The NHS Trust spent £130,000 fighting Dare’s accusations, even though they understood that her claims were accurate. She was harassed, called “A Very Disturbed Women”, bullied, and then fired. After losing her job, based on a legal technicality, the Judge said her disclosure was not made in good faith (which did not exist at the time) and a provision that no longer has to be satisfied. The NHS Trust went after Dr. Dare for £100,000 in court costs.

In Conclusion:
Things have changed thanks to Sir Francis’ report, the creation of the Freedom To Speak Up Guardianship, the network of Freedom to Speak Up Guardians in NHS Trusts, and others who support and protect those who speak up. No one should ever go through this again.

About Sir Robert Francis:
He is a British barrister who specialises in medical law, treatments for mental and medical issues, clinical discipline and negligence. He has chaired various independent investigations.

 

Advice On What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused Of A Crime

There are very few situations in life that are as devastating as being accused of a crime you did not commit. Your current and future reputation and freedom are at stake and should never be taken lightly!

If you find yourself in this situation, there are steps you should take and what you need to know in order to proceed forward. Failure to take proper action will lead to a very bad outcome including prison time, even if you are innocent.

Here are some useful tips that you should follow and how to deal with a false accusation;

First off, you should fully understand what charges are being brought against you. It is crucial that you defend yourself against charges that have been brought against you falsely. Once you understand what the charges are and have taken the steps to get legal representation, you will be in a much better position. If you do not have an attorney, at the moment, go online and read legal articles to fully comprehend the charges being filed against you.

You should hire a solicitor as quickly as possible or if you already have a solicitor, present them with all your questions and concerns. You must know your rights and how the legal system works. Your solicitor should explain what charges are being brought against you and what steps will be taken by the attorney and his team.

The following are important tips to help you get the best possible outcome in securing results that will work in your favor:

This is critical – you must completely understand the consequences of the accusations being brought against you, even if you are innocent. Never, disregard the seriousness of the charges because you could still be convicted of the crime. Everything you do at this stage will have an effect on the final outcome from these false charges. Failing to take the proper steps will increase the chances of a conviction and the legal consequences in the future.

Again, get legal representation as quickly as possible and make sure you understand the legal fees and are able to pay. In most cases, you will have to provide a retainer for your solicitor and he or she will go over when additional payments will be made. If accusations of a crime, such as rape or sexual abuse, will lead to a greater risk of a conviction. You must have a strong defense case in order to prove your innocence. Therefore, you must have an solicitor who is experienced in cases such as yours. A good defense attorney will cost more but this is your life you are talking about! Most solicitors will work with you on the financial side. If you do not have a great deal of money, there are many highly qualified attorneys that a few times a year take on pro-bono cases in which they do not charge for their services. It’s worth looking into.

You will need reliable witnesses and evidence that might be available. Your defense team will gather evidence, speak with witnesses and put together your case. Therefore, be sure and give as much information as you possibly have to your defense team.

If you have someone with comprehensive information, be sure and give your attorney their name so he or she can contact them. Be sure and list any and all witnesses of the alleged crime along with character witnesses that can speak in your defense.

False Accusation Of Rape Or Sex Crimes

These cases are taken very seriously and the outcome could be terrible if you are found guilty. Sexual assault, child molestation, rape, sodomy of a minor, child pornography, and indecent exposure are some actions that fall under this category.

Rape is the most common and there are a number of men that have been accused of this crime and know how difficult it is to deal with even though they are innocent. Keep in mind, there are cases in which women have been victims of rape but there are other cases that are false. There are women who accuse a man of rape but in fact, it never happened. There are women who will go to any length to get back at an ex-boyfriend or ex-husband just for revenge. In other cases, she might make up a story to cover her own misconduct or embarrassment. In other cases, alcohol is involved which can alter someone’s memory of the events and lead to misunderstandings. In these cases, it’s really important that an innocent man is able to clear his name. In order to clear your name, follow these tips which your solicitor will also advise you on:

Do Not Let Your Emotions Get Out Of Control

It seems only natural if someone is falsely accused of a crime to confront the accuser. This will only lead to a great deal of stress and enormous levels of anger that can quickly get out of control. If you are in a confrontation, you must keep your temper under control and think clearly. Better yet, just stay away from a confrontation!

Say Away From Your Accuser

The best advice you will be given is to just stay away from your accuser. Confrontations can lead to bigger issues and could lead to losing your case. Just stay away from them. Even if you think you could talk them into dropping the charges, don’t count on it! This can lead to even more problems if she goes before the court with an accusation that you tried to coheres her. If you must meet with or contact your accuser, make sure you have a third party with you. Use text messages or emails that can be saved vs making a phone call. Phone calls can be twisted around so don’t do it.

Your Solicitor Must Be Experienced In Criminal Law

Rape cases are very serious charges, you must have a really good attorney to help you get through this. He or she will be experienced in these cases and will give you valuable advice and will guide you through the entire process. They will put together a list of witnesses and go over the details on the best way to represent you and bring it before the court.

What Is The Motivation Behind The Accusation?

The chances are good that there is a motivation behind accusations if you have been falsely accused of rape. Sit down with your attorney to find out what the motivation might be. A former spouse or partner might be trying to destroy your image out of jealousy or revenge for the breakup. The whole incident could have been consensual sex but if a drug or alcohol was present than clear thinking was thrown out the window. These are situations your attorney will bring before the court in order to clear your name!

In Conclusion

Being falsely accused of a crime is very detrimental and difficult to get through. Follow the advice of counsel and try and keep as calm as possible. Never, ever try to represent yourself in a court of law. This old adage is very true:

If you hire yourself as your lawyer, you have a fool for a lawyer!

This is a very stressful time and you need the best backing to help you get an acquittal of the charges. Hire solicitors that know what they are doing and do what they tell you to do.