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Tuesday, 13 October 2009, 12:00AM
Museum of London

What’s a woman worth? The maintenance law

Baroness Deech of Cumnor DBE

When it comes to the division of assets and income after divorce, England and Wales have sweeping laws. London is called the divorce capital of Europe, and English judges have transformed parliamentary law on maintenance to favour women. There is disagreement about the impact of modern gender equality. Is it fair that a husband should undertake a lifelong obligation to keep his wife on marriage, regardless of behaviour and changes in women's status? Should spouses be free to make their own maintenance arrangements?

This is a part of the lecture series, Family Relationships and the Law since the 1960's. The other lectures in this series are as follows:
Divorce Law - A Disaster?
Cohabitation and the Law
Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters
Civil Partnerships

Cousin Marriage

baroness-deech-of-cumnor-dbe

Professor the Baroness Deech of Cumnor DBE was the Gresham Professor of Law between 2008 and 2012. She is Chair of the Bar Standards Board, a position she has held since 2009.

Baroness Deech received her Bachelors and Masters degrees from St. Anne's College, Oxford, before going on to further legal studies in the U.S.A. and the Netherlands. Three years after being called to the Bar (Inner Temple), she returned to St. Anne's College, Oxford, where she took up the position of Tutorial Fellow in Law, a position she held until she became the Principal of the College in 1991. During this period, Professor Deech held a number of highly prestigious international positions within academia, the legal profession and beyond. These include Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford (2001-2004) and BBC Governor (2002-2006).

In 2004 she stepped down from her positions at Oxford and became the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education (2004-2008).  Professor Deech's specialisation is in reproductive law, medicine and ethics. Through this she was the Chairman of the UK Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (1994-2002), a non-executive Director of the Oxfordshire Health Authority (1993-1994) and an ex officio member of the Human Genetics Commission (1991-2002).

Professor Deech was appointed a crossbench Peer in 2005 and is currently a member of the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications.

Professor Deech's 2008/09 series of lectures focussed on the legal and ethical issues surrounding reproductive medicine. Her 2009/10 series of lectures focused on the place of various family relationships within the law since the 1960's, from divorce law to civil partnerships. Her 2011/12 series of lectures focussed on regulation across a range of public bodies, including higher education, the BBC and the legal profession.

All of Baroness Deech’s previous lectures may be accessed here.

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13 October 2009

What’s a woman worth? The maintenance law
Baroness Deech of Cumnor DBE

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