Family lawyers rally to Mackay's defence

FAMILY lawyers have come out in support of the Lord Chancellor as he faces mounting pressure from Tory backbenchers to drop his radical plans for divorce reform.

The Solicitors Family Law Association has criticised the press and MPs leading the attack on Lord Mackay, saying claims that no-fault divorce would devalue the institution of marriage are illogical.

Both the SFLA and the Law Society are known to reject some of Mackay's proposals, but lawyers are united on plans to cut the attribution of blame from marriage breakdowns.

“It would be extremely regrettable if the Bill were to be sacrificed to the views of what is clearly a misguided group,” commented SFLA chair Nigel Shepherd.

“In my view nothing could be further from the truth in terms of Lord Mackay's personal commitment and beliefs than the idea that he is devaluing the institution of the family.

“I think a measure of his commitment is that until this last-minute rumpus, he has succeeded in carrying through what is always a hot potato of divorce reform.

“He is right in saying the introduction of no-fault divorces will not make divorce easier.

“I can't see how improving the atmosphere in which divorce takes place can undermine the institution of marriage. It doesn't seem a logical conclusion to draw.”