As the nominations for the John Cornwell Award 2015 close, director James Pirrie, winner of the 2014 award, reflects on the contribution John Cornwell made to family law in general and separating families in particular.
“John was an extraordinary visionary. It is part of the burden of such people that their offering is quickly incorporated into our daily lives and thus becomes normal. So it is that we are likely to underestimate rather than appreciate the enormity of the original leap. There are lots of us doing things that can honour what John started just by pushing a little further on what he accomplished. His legacy would atrophy if we did not do so. After all, woven into the fabric of his vision was kindness, revolution and striving for something better for the separating families of this jurisdiction.
John was modest and perhaps an award is counter-intuitive. However, we can remind ourselves about him and energise ourselves by thinking about what different professionals are doing. I see it as a crucial part of honouring our inheritance that we celebrate and promote the values of his work by gathering together the best in class each year. I hope that Resolution will be given a paper storm of applications, all reminders that what he started is very much alive and with us still – goodness knows in these challenging times we need it.”