2021 Calendar

To download this year calendar with 2021 political surgery, Elections, Isle of Man school holidays and other notable dates and including useful contacts please  click here.

Legislation that would enable no fault divorces on the Isle of Man is scheduled to go before the House of Keys for its second reading on Friday (15 May 2020).

The Divorce, Dissolution and Separation (Isle of Man) Bill is a private member’s bill brought forward by Garff MHK Daphne Caine.

She commented: “This is a short bill with a far reaching potential impact. If approved it will remove the need for divorcing couples to cite adultery or unreasonable behaviour in order to obtain a divorce in less than two years. The aim is to reduce the adversarial nature of divorce, which it’s believed will lessen the negative impact on the couple and any children involved. It would take out blame and increase the honesty of the divorce process.”

At present if both parties agree, divorce is permitted after a separation of two years but it is a five year wait if one party does not agree to divorce. Under the bill, a couple would be able to apply singly or jointly and obtain a final divorce or dissolution in six months, simply by confirming their marriage or civil partnership had irretrievably broken down.

The legislation is similar to a bill now being progressed through the House of Lords, promoted by the UK Government. In countries where no fault divorce is permitted, rates of fault based divorce reduce from 60% to 6%.

The Isle of Man bill follows a recommendation from a working party of family law advocates who researched the matter on the island.

And in a recent public consultation 94% of respondents supported reforming the law on these lines on the Isle of Man.

Of the 192 individuals who responded to the consultation –

• 94% supported the no fault divorce principle

• 96% agreed couples should be able to apply jointly or singly

• 62% supported a 26 week process as proposed

• 25% supported no minimum period

The full consultation results can be seen here.

2020 Political Surgeries

Saturday 11th January at 10:30 – 12:00 – Laxey – Garff Commissioners Office, Main Road.

Saturday 7th March at 10:30 – 12:00 – Maughold – Glen Mona Hotel, Ramsey Coast Road.

Wednesday 6th May 17:00 – 18:00 – Onchan – Archibald Knox pub meeting room, Avondale Rd.

Saturday 25th July at 10:30 – 12:00 – Laxey – Garff Commissioners Office, Main Road.

Saturday October 3 12:00 – 13:00 – Onchan – Archibald Knox pub meeting room, Avondale Rd.

Saturday November 7 Laxey 10:30 – 12:00 – Laxey – Garff Commissioners Office, Main Road.

All constituents are welcome to attend

Any constituency issues can be raised at the surgery with me or Martyn Perkins MHK.

Contact us direct to arrange a private appointment:
Office Tel: 651519 / 651518
Email: daphne.caine@gov.im

I care passionately about children on the Isle of Man. However, I am no longer the Chief Minister’s Children’s Champion. I felt compelled to resign following a revision of the terms of reference circulated to me for comment at the end of March 2018. This narrowed the focus of the role to looked after and vulnerable children only.

While I appreciate young people in care need a particular focus and support, I have been inspired by the young people I have met, many of whom have contributed to the Corporate Parenting Group that I have had the honour of chairing. However, the majority of people who contacted me in my 18 months as Children’s Champion would fall outside the new job remit. I therefore, reluctantly, have stood down from the position in order to pursue the many issues that have been brought to my attention.

A copy of the detailed email explaining my reasons for stepping down can be found here along with the Chief Minister’s reply.

Certain issues raised with me that fall outside the revised job role, which I intend to pursue, include:

  • Mental health provision for children and young people
  • Healthcare provision generally for children
  • Supporting policies to reduce childhood obesity and to improve oral health
  • Introducing legislation to enable no fault divorce
  • Pressing DHA to introduce legislation to enable pre-recorded testimony by vulnerable witnesses
  • Provision of a contact centre for private law matters before the Family Court
  • Holiday hunger – seeking action over increased use of the Foodbank by families during summer holidays
  • Provision of special education needs
  • Roll-out of allergy policy in schools
  • Adequacy of play and leisure facilities for children and young people around the Isle of Man
  • Promoting discussion over future Education department policies in respect of religious education; school resources; home schooling; catchment areas; benchmarking attainment and quality assessments.

I am grateful to the Chief Minister for his kind comments in his reply to my resignation. However, it is apparent that we disagree fundamentally in the approach we feel is appropriate to best champion the needs and rights of children and young people on the Isle of Man at this time.