A U.K. judge's decision to begin a pro-marriage campaign and condemn rising divorce rates has critics questioning the ethics behind it.
Sir Paul Coleridge, 62, previously spent 30 years working as a family barrister. After witnessing the effects that divorces can have on children, he now seeks to promote marriage in a bid to reduce divorce rates, according to Mail Online.
"There are an estimated 3.8 million children currently caught up in the family justice system. I personally think that’s a complete scandal," Coleridge told U.K. publication The Times.
"My message is mend it - don’t end it. Over 40 years of working in the family justice system, I have seen the fall-out of these broken relationships," he added.
According to BBC, divorce rates have declines in the U.K., with people aged 25-29 having the highest rates of divorce nationally.
In 2004, the divorce rate was 14 per 1000, and 69 percent of those divorce were married for the first time.
The Telegraph reported that by 2008, the divorce rate had declined by 2.5 percent and although many religious groups praised the decline in divorces, critics pointed out that marriage had also declined.
Some critics have slammed the idea of judges imposing their personal beliefs onto others, suggesting that their opinions could also be imposed into the legal system, jeopardizing fairness.
"It is very important where you’ve got a judge who is making decisions about families that they are not clouded by a particular view but are looking at what is going to serve the family," said Anastasia de Waal, director of family and education at think tank Civitas.
In 2011, Coleridge gained positive and negative attention when he attributed the collapse of nuclear families to, “youth crime, child abuse, drug addiction, [and] binge drinking."
The judge who is married with children also recently told BBC radio that, "Divorce is easy in the sense that obtaining a divorce is easier than getting a driving license."
Coleridge's marriage foundation has received the support of some leading academics and top names in the U.K.'s legal industry.