Baroness Ruth Deech, who is professor of law at Gresham College and Chair of the Bar Standards Board, said that divorce often has a lasting impact on children, yet this is not taken seriously by politicians. “It is astonishing that no government seriously considers divorce as an issue while expressing anxiety about single parents, their children and society’s health.” Mediation had “not worked as well as might be hoped” and was unlikely to hold down the rate  of divorce, she added.  “Women are reported to feel disadvantaged by mediation. “This is because mediation seeks a compromise or agreement, and favours the articulate and determined over the cowed and quiet, apparently, and it is said female mediators are more persuaded by husbands’ arguments than wives’”.  She also said that women should “be educated to face [divorce], and it is no solution to the material and psychological problems to expect them all to rely on ex-husbands”.

 Baroness Deech’s next speech will take place on 13 October.