To what extent is it fair to say that the UK Parliament has abdicated responsibility for determining how property and money should be divided between adults when their relationship breaks down, and yet has exercised strict control over child maintenance? Have judges been left with too much discretion as between adults and too little in relation children?

The Parliament has vested very wide discretionary powers in the courts with regard to decisions undertaken in the dissemination of assets and maintenance upon divorce to the adults and children involved. The financial consequences to the parties involved in a broken marriage are of utmost significance to them. In addition to the emotional consequences is added the additional burden of deciphering their insecure and uncertain future.  Women involved in the breakdown of a relationship face uncertainty in terms of accommodation and income particularly with reference to any children under her care, whereas the men have to shoulder the burden of supporting two family units especially if they plan to establish a new family. It is evident that the Parliament has provided the fundamental guidelines for the courts to follow with regard to the financial aspects appertaining to the breakdown of marriage and all the parties affected.  The courts utilize these guiding principles; however the

Article 267 TFEU, critically consider whether the relationship between the CJEU and national courts created by the preliminary reference procedure is better considered as a bilateral, horizontal partnership of collaboration or one which is a multilateral, vertical, hierarchical relationship in which the CJEU takes precedence.

Introduction Introduced as the “jewel in the Crown of the ECJ’s” jurisdiction, 1 the preliminary rulings procedure contained within article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (‘TFEU’) amounts to a fundamental tool to the application of EU law in Member States. The aim of this essay is to critically assess the preliminary rulings / reference procedure conferred under article 267 of the TFEU and conclude whether the scope of the relationship confers excessive powers on the ECJ with particular consideration to how it has changed over time. It is concluded that it cannot be agreed with absolute completeness that the European judicial system has moved from a horizontal bilateral approach to the vertical and multilateral approach. However, a proper consideration demonstrates that the development of matters such as the doctrine of precedent have shifted the matter towards a more vertical and multilater