That-was-the-weekIn another big money Russian divorce case a woman was awarded a settlement totalling over £53 million by the High Court. Mrs Justice Eleanor King found that:

“The husband was the wealth creator, the wife the homemaker. Each contributed fully to the marriage… I am satisfied that all the family’s wealth was created during the course of the marriage.”

However, the applicant is likely to struggle to enforce the order against her former partner. The judge described the case as “a fantastic charade with the husband a shady puppet master in the background” and criticised the first respondent ex-husband for refusing to cooperate, being “elusive”, attempting to hide his assets and being in contempt of court.

A freedom of information request asked of the Ministry of Justice revealed that almost 8,000 defendants failed to appear in Welsh courts last year. A breakdown of the figures is available here, with particularly high numbers of no-shows for offences relating to theft and handling stolen goods. The figures included people accused of more serious crimes including sexual offences, violence and robbery, however.

Minister of State for Policing and Criminal Justice, Damian Green, gave a speech on making better use of magistrates.  He said:

“Four out of ten defendants sent to the crown court for sentencing received custodial sentences that could have been handed in the magistrates’ court – we need to look at why this is happening and if we need to do more to make the best use of magistrates. We need to keep the right cases in the right court if we are to have a modern justice system in a fair society.”

Speculation of what this (and the accompanying video) could mean is running rife. This action plan comes under the umbrella of the “making the criminal justice system more efficient” policy, which includes the reforms initially outlined in this consultation paper last year.

A judicial review of the decision to re-inter the remains of Richard III in Leicester was given permission to proceed. The Plantagenet Alliance, distant relatives of the long-dead king, claim his wish was to be buried in York Minster. Mr Justice Haddon-Cave stated:

“The archaeological discovery of the mortal remains of a former King of England after 500 years is without precedent.

In my judgment, it is plainly arguable that there was a duty at common law to consult widely as to how and where Richard III’s remains should appropriately be re-interred.”

 He also issued a stern warning to the parties to “avoid embarking on the legal Wars of the Roses part 2” through an “unseemly, undignified and unedifying” legal scuffle.