A welcome note to students of the law
Whether you are studying law as your primary degree or as a part subject on a course you are probably by now beginning to apreciate the difference between what is in the text books and what happens in reality.Divorce in Ireland is a classic example of this long standing contradiction. In no other legal system in the world is the divide more apparent.
This site deals with one such module I am working on. In Ireland they have a family law system that has only evolved very recently. Divorce came back to Ireland after a very long absence due to the control the catholic church held on Irish society. Through the nineties the Irish church like our own had a series of scandals which led to the church loosing power over society. Despite this loss of power the actual constitutional referendum was only passed by a narrow margin. It had previously been struck down in a refferendum in 1986.
1997 saw the first divorces in Ireland. I enjoyed a brief stint in an office in County Tipperary and began to learn about Irish Divorce law. As a topic of legal study it allows us to focus on where the Irish system has succeeded and where it has failed. It will also deal with the every day questions people ask when they call into visit their attorney. Important point in Ireland they have two types of attorney. One type is Solicitors and the other type Barristers. As a rough divide, Barristers generally spend their time in the courts of larger jurisdiction such as the Circuit Court/High Court. They cannot get clients directly but only through a solicitor. Solicitors can also do court work but generally confine themselves to the smaller court, the district court. They can seek out clients and brief barristers for work in the higher courts. All sounds crazy you guys! Why not merge the professions or let them go like in Canada?
At any rate the Irish family law system after ten years is in need of major overhaul. They need dedicated family courts, specially trained judges and a bigger push for ADR forms such as collaborative law and mediation. To date little or none of this has been completed. Many feel that a change of government in 2010 will see reform in the Irish Family Law system.