Hot off the press after the Channel 4 programme featuring findings in a report by Professor Ireland, John Hemming MP has filed an Early Day Motion calling for the government to thoroughly examine the quality and competence of expert reports in the family justice system. We think this is a great idea and long overdue.
Where reports can make the difference between keeping a family together and removing children from that family unit, every report has life-changing potential and it stands to reason that those reports must be of the highest quality. Taking a child away from his or her family is one of the most drastic actions any government can ever undertake, and should not be done off the back of sub standard reports, often lacking in any real evidence. If you agree, why not ask your MP to sign the EDM?
EDM 2857 says:
“That this House notes the report by Professor Jane Ireland, commissioned by the Family Justice Council, in which she studied 100 expert reports from family court proceedings; further notes that 20 per cent. were written by people not qualified, a further 20 per cent. by people writing outside their knowledge and qualifications, 65 per cent. were `poor’ or `very poor’ and 90 per cent. were written by people who were not in current practice; recognises that this raises a massive question as to whether or not the judgments of the courts in the majority of care proceedings are reliable; and calls for a substantial further opening of the courts to enable the quality of evidence given to be subject to adequate real time scrutiny”.
Many thanks to Jane Webb for drawing this EDM to our attention.