* ‘Tell me the Old, Old Story’:<sup>1</sup> The Denning Report, Divorce and Reconciliation


in Law, Law Reform and the Family

Published in print December 1998 | ISBN: 9780198268710
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683565 | DOI:
* ‘Tell me the Old, Old Story’:1 The Denning Report, Divorce and Reconciliation

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As World War II drew to a close in 1945, the legal system in the United Kingdom faced crisis. On September 3, 1945, Lord Jowitt, Lord Chancellor in the recently elected Labour Government, informed the Cabinet that the judicial system was barely able to cope with the number of divorce petitions currently being entered, and that it was likely to collapse under the avalanche of cases expected to be entered for trial in the near future. To address this concern, the Denning Committee was created. The Committee asserted that ‘the reconciliation of estranged parties to marriages is so important that the State itself should do all it can to assist reconciliation’. This chapter explores the background to the appointment of the Denning Committee and then analyses the significance of its work for the development of Family Law Act 1996, which was enacted primarily to support the institution of marriage.

Keywords: Family Law Act 1996; United Kingdom; law; marriage; Denning Committee; reconciliation; divorce

Chapter.  11464 words. 

Subjects: Family Law

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