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In the name of the family

The breakdown of the family is the political issue of the moment. But the storm over the domestic violence and divorce bills demonstrates that political fashion makes for bad legislation. Mary Tuck explains why

By Mary Tuck   December 1995

It is hard to understand what motivated the Tory party’s decision to withdraw the Lord Chancellor’s Bill on domestic violence. The Bill was likely to have been popular with public opinion-given the known public desire to reduce violence against women.

Thankfully, it now seems likely that the provisions of the Bill will be brought back as part of the new divorce legislation to be put before the House in the coming session. For the Tories-lagging at the polls and desperate to recover electoral popularity-the publicity risks of withdrawing the Bill ultimately seemed rather larger than those of pursuing it. The…

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