* Marriage Saving and the Early Days of Conciliation: The Role of Claud Mullins


in Law, Law Reform and the Family

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198268710
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683565 | DOI:
* Marriage Saving and the Early Days of Conciliation: The Role of Claud Mullins

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In the 1930s, pressure began to build up to improve the legal system's response to the problem of marriage breakdown amongst the working classes; and the Summary Procedure (Domestic Proceedings) Act 1937 can in retrospect be seen as a decisive breakthrough—not only in relation to the procedures in the magistrates' courts but by highlighting the case for making ‘conciliation’ generally available in family cases as a means of resolving the questions which have to be settled. The case for conciliation had been pursued with particular vigour by one of the Metropolitan Police Magistrates, Claud Mullins, whose contribution to law reform in this area deserves more attention than it has received from lawyers in the past. This chapter gives an account of the background to, and the significance of, the 1937 Act and places on record the part played in the story by a very remarkable individual.

Keywords: marriage; working classes; Summary Procedure Act; conciliation; Claud Mullins; law reform; magistrates

Chapter.  14019 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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