Religion should play no part within the law

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At 4.30 p.m. on 25th May 2017 in court 7 at The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre we will hold a debate on the above subject. Speakers on each side of the motion will have no more than a total of 15 minutes to put across their arguments before you, the audience, will be asked to contribute to the debate. The event will be chaired by Judge Stephen Wildblood QC. The event will end by 6.10 pm.

The public and the media are welcome to this event and we hope for as diverse an audience as possible. We are keen to promote the work of the multi faith support unit that operates from our court.

Speakers will include the following :

John Scriven

John worked with a London law firm from 1977 to 2016. He was Chairman of the Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship from 2003 to 2011. He is the author of A Contractual Guide to Major Construction Projects (1999), EPC Contracts and Major Projects (2012), Belief and the Nation (2013) and he contributed toReligion and Law, Theos (2012) and Magna Carta Unravelled (2015).

Rev Paul Langham

Paul is an outstanding preacher who has chosen to speak against the motion. He says: ‘I think there are some very interesting lines of enquiry to pursue about what the Western world’s legal system would forfeit if underlying religious (specifically Christian as far as most Western nations are concerned) principles were jettisoned’.

Tom Eden- Bull

Although only 15 Tom spoke at the last debate that we held and did so with such outstanding fluency and maturity that we have asked him to return to speak at this conference.

We will send out a list of ground rules governing the debate.

Please only book into this event if you are sure that you will attend or if you will find someone else to take your place if you do not. It is unfair on others if you simply reserve a place without commitment to attending. We will ask you to make a contribution of £5 to the charity, the Personal Support Unit, if you do attend although this is without obligation.

You can book a place here.


Bristol – A pioneering Family court. But what more should we be doing?

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On the 4th May 2017 at 4.30 p.m. HHJ Wildblood QC and District Judge Cope will be leading a conference to explain what is being done here to help people have a better understanding of the work that we do in the Family Court.


However, more importantly, we will be inviting your views on what else we should be doing. In particular we want to hear your views about what more we should do to support litigants and help litigants in person. Your views matter and we want to hear them.
The public and the media are welcome to attend the conference which will run from 4.30 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. and will take place at The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6GR.
If you would like to attend please book in by e-mailing Jerry Fowler. The address is
There is no charge for attending.


‘First one thousand days’ – Homestart Conference

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Friday the 23 June 2017

Are too many children coming into the care system? Can better community care prevent this?

Recent research has indicated that the number of children coming into care is rising and that this is even more prevalent in deprived areas. In view of drastic cutbacks in statutory funding to both children’s centres and voluntary organisations this figure is only likely to rise.

Homestart is one such organisation that supports vulnerable families and is holding this conference in part to fundraise.

Speakers include Anthony Douglas CEO of Cafcass, Dr Freda Gardner psychologist and court expert, Annie a mother who had her children removed from her and then returned after the court process, Professor Kate Morris head of social work at Sheffield University and researcher into this topic.

Conference to be chaired by Judge Stephen Wildblood QC

To be held at Eastington Community Centre (5 mins from Stroud M5 Junction 13 turn off) GL10 3AQ

Time 9.15am – 3.15pm

Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite here. Ticket enquiries (early booking discount, group/special discounts etc) should be sent to


Conference : LB Hackney v Williams – accommodation under s20 and HRA damages claims

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London Borough of Hackney v Williams [2017] EWCA Civ 26.
Conference 4.30 p.m. on 23rd March. Court 7, Bristol Civil & Family Justice Centre

At 4.30 p.m. on 23rd March 2017 there will be a conference in Court 7 of the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6GR to consider the decision of the Court of Appeal in this case. In particular we will consider the implications of the case for practice relating to accommodation under section 20 of The Children Act 1989 and also to claims for damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.

The speakers will be announced in due course.

Those who wish to attend should inform Rebecca Cobbin ( If you book place please ensure you do attend or else that you find someone to take your place.

HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC


Documentary viewing : Prison, My parents and Me

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Showing of documentary on 16th March 2017 at 4.30
Prison, My parents and Me

On 16th March 2017 at 4.30 p.m. there will be a showing of the above documentary that was filmed by the BAFTA award winning company True Vision. It was shown, originally, in November 2016 for Children in Need. The Producer / Director, Catey Sexton, from True Vision will be present to speak about the filming of the documentary and the issues that arise in relation to the growing number of children with a parent in prison. The event will end by 6.10 p.m.

There is no charge for attending this event but the production team of True Vision has asked that those who attend should make a charitable donation to The Aletheia Foundation, which is a charity run by True Vision to help contributors in their films.

Numbers will be limited. We can sit 50 in the court (Court 17). Please can I ask you to make sure that, if you say that you will attend, you do so or arrange for a substitute. It would be very unfair if large numbers of people are turned away and you leave an empty seat.

If you wish to attend please email Rebecca Cobbin at the Bristol Civil & Family Justice Centre (, giving your name and email address. Please direct any enquiries about the event to HHJ Wildblood QC via the court office, and not to Rebecca.


HHJ Stephen Wildblood QC



New LiP Service Information Sessions & Court Tours

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LiP Service (Bristol) Help for litigants in person


Are you involved in a court case or thinking about starting one?

Students from the universities in Bristol are holding information sessions where they will explain about the court procedure, what you can expect in court and what you need to do in preparation for the court hearing. You will be also given a tour of the court.

These meetings will normally take place as follows:

Claimant (Civil)                  1st and 3rd Thursday of the month

Defendant (Civil)               2nd and 4th Thursday of the month

Applicant (Family)             1st and 3rd Friday of the month

Respondent (Family)        2nd and 4th Friday of the month

At the Bristol County Court, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6GR between 1 and 2pm

For more details and to book a place please call 01483 216 571 and ask about LiP Service.

Download LiP Service flyer.



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Where and when:

2nd February 2017  from 4.30 p.m. to 6.10 p.m.

Court 7 of the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol, BS1 6GR.


There is no charge for attending this conference.


1 ½ hours.

How to book in for the conference :

If you would like to attend, please contact Kirsty Hey (Marketing Executive at Zenith Chambers) by email at You will asked to provide your name and contact details when booking in.


A bang up to date summary of the essentials that you need to know when conducting a cohabitation case, including:

• Constructive Trusts
• Proprietary Estoppel
• Equitable accounting
• Procedure, focusing on the tricky area of costs in civil proceedings
• Relationship with family proceedings
• Quantification of claims
• Costs funding
• Procedure where there is also a Tolata claim

By whom:

Elizabeth Darlington and Laura Heaton.

Elizabeth Darlington practises and writes extensively in this area of law. She has a busy nationwide practice based at Zenith Chambers, Leeds and 1 Garden Court, London.

Laura Heaton is a highly respected member of the bar who practises from 29 Bedford Row, London and has particular expertise in matrimonial finance, Schedule 1 and cohabitation.

Book launch by lecturers – Sweet and Maxwell Ltd has just published the third edition of the practitioner’s text by Elizabeth Darlington and Laura Heaton – “Cohabitation and Trusts of Land” (with a preface by Sir Ernest Ryder and with His Honour Judge Wildblood QC as consultant editor).


Debate : The only right of young people is the right to be protected

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On 19th January 2017 there will be a debate, which is open to the public and the media, as to whether the above statement is correct. The debate will be chaired by His Honour Judge Stephen Wildblood QC and will take place in Court 7 at the Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre, 2 Redcliff Street, Bristol BS16GR from 4.30 p.m. to 6.10 p.m. that day.

There is no charge for attendance and, for lawyers, the event will attract 1 ½ hours of CPD points. We are very keen to welcome members of the public, particularly young people, to attend. The debate will begin with short speeches on the above statement, two for and two against. We will then ask for views to be expressed by members of the audience.

We do need to ask those wishing to attend to book in to the debate so that we can keep a check on numbers. Please book here.