The long -awaited report by Mr Justice Ryder on the future of the family courts has landed….
The Judiciary were asked by the government to offer their perspective on the Family Justice Review, which was published last year, and this final report, compiled by Mr Justice Ryder, who was appointed to look at the problems inside the family justice system, analyses the issues and offers a judge-centric view.
There is a good summary of the report over on Jordan’s Family Law, but the report is merely a plan of action and at this time, does not really elaborate as to how judges are going to tackle the cultural problems inside the system, other than to explain the structural ways in which they hope to do this.
The final report explains that a single family court will be created, that the new processes and shifts in culture will be judge-led, so that effectively judges will have a great deal more influence than they do at the moment and that child welfare really needs to be pragmatically prioritised, and not just paid lip service to. The report also highlights the need to help litigants in person and to make sure the playing field is level.
It’s a macho report, with a strong focus on good evidence-based practice, adherence to regulations and procedure and a focus on making sure children are at the centre of all decisions. It’s sexy, but whether or not we’ll fall in love with it, will depend on how rigorous senior judges are about implementing ethical procedures, avoiding conflicts of interest and ensuring that they and everyone who works in the system, understand and can communicate with children. There is one final battle – that of the modern judge versus the dinosaur. We have yet to see whether the system will entertain a truly organic and cutting edge approach with solid, traditional wisdom, or whether sabotage of the sensible lies afoot.
We are with you, Mr Justice Ryder. For now.
Many thanks to Shaun O’Connell at Southern Family Aid for very kindly emailing the report over to us.
Alas for “good intentions” ! I forecast children who wish to be heard will still be “represented “by a solicitor or guardian who will say the child is happy in fostercare when in fact the child is begging to return home.Litigants in person will continue to be given “special treatment” ie a tongue lashinfg from the judge with threats of replacement by the “official solicitor” if they do not find one themselves , a contemptuous disregard for anything they say and a refusal for them to help choose the expert. Asummary of the situation and remedies follows:-
UK parent “victims” of secret family courts frequently have their newborn babies and young children taken into “care” for « risk of emotional abuse » or one sole instance of a superficial bruise .They are then jailed if they protest publicly that they have committed no crime and are being punished only for what some highly paid expert (often sent into court by an agency habitually used by the ss) thinks they might do in the future !
1. Parents have no chance of resisting when legal aid lawyers inevitably advise parents to “go along with social services” and not oppose interim care orders .Pregnant women menaced by social services (the SS!) are quite free to leave the UK and go to Ireland (no passports needed?)N.Cyprus (no extradition), or other more civilised European countries to avoid this and are strongly advised to do so.. As L.J.Thorpe admits “ there is nothing more serious than a removal hearing because the courts are so prejudiced in proceedings thereafter.” Children are likely to suffer far more abuse ,both physical and emotional in” care” than with parents as nearly half end up either in prison or as prostitutes, and hundreds disappear never to be seen again ! Family torn apart in 15-minute court case by Judge James Orrell …
The older children have their mobile phones and laptops confiscated ,so letters and phone calls to families are prevented in order to isolate these children in care and stop them communicating with friends and relatives(Murderers and rapists are allowed better treatment than this !).Conversation at contact with parents is strictly censored so that no mention of the court case or coming home is allowed otherwise contact is stopped.
Hundreds of babies (needed to top up official local authority adoption score cards) are sent for adoption by strangers against the will of their parents(FORCED ADOPTION) and often lose contact for the rest of their lives; not only with their parents,grandparents,and other relatives, but also with their siblings.Mothers who love and have never harmed their children but who speak to them or even send them a birthday card in defiance of a court” non molestation” order have been jailed for up to 3 years.In cases of father v mother the “ss” will often take one side and persuade the judge to order the losing parent to have “no contact” of any kind with their child. Prison is the punishment if a single word,email or phone call is exchanged between parent and child.No court should have the power to make such an order if a parent has committed no crime against the child or the other parent.
The remedy is simple.The family courts should be governed by the same rules of procedure as the criminal courts.”NO PUNISHMENT WITHOUT CRIME”,”Innocent until proved guilty” “No hearsay admitted except under exceptional circumstances”,the right to call witnesses including children,and experts for a” second opinion” “, “hearings by jury” in the most serious cases,and the final abolition of “FORCED ADOPTION”.
Recently however “the National Fostering agency”,founded by social workers a few years ago,and one of many such agencies responsible for recruiting fosterers and adoptive parents, was sold for £130million ! Social workers,lawyers,guardians,experts,and judges! Birds of a feather flock together and all in various ways have “snouts in the trough ! While that sort of money is being made by all concerned, changes to the system will be a long time coming !
I fear you may be right, but ever the optimist, I shall wait as the play unfolds…..
Shaun O'Connell said:
I read the report differently…the market has gone out of private law so the legal system has little interest….just compare this to even a few years ago when there were finding of fact hearing on spurious allegations….importance of DV…..precedents havent changed….and now whaqt justification for the years of polarising parents with disputes…mediation doesnt work and I am all too well aware of CAMHS using womens aid as DV merchants treating children with no medical or psychiatric basis and as far as I am aware not seeking permission from both parents with parental responsibility………
re public law – first what evidence base are they referring to?
Next year plans are already there for judges to become fully inquisitorial…….so since as per LJ ward Judges are experts in law one does have to ask who is going to provide the evidence base (those with vested interest in the adoption system?)….social workers or ‘experts’ whose competence was seriously questioned in a study of family court experts?
What system will be in place to question the evidence base? Given that adoptions are to be speeded up…..six months it will be worse than now as judge will decide yet what right of questioning the wisdom/ expertise relied upon? where is the time to garner evidence from the LA and other bodies in order to rebut allegations?
I could go on…but i fear the worst…..
Yes, I have my concerns too, but I felt that Mr Justice Ryder had made an effort to encourage a change in the culture, speed things up using the resources available more efficiently and pushing for better practice. How that works in practice, as you say, is the key. Ryder has also pushed for greater judicial power, which we knew would happen as far back as 2010, and it’s no suprise given that he is a judge himself. I’m also worried about this, though. Good judges are in the minority, even at senior level, but I won’t fear the worst just yet.
I have recently had many long nights and hours filming the street people of London from the care system, with many kids from care now so young running from the abuse of the care system. What the legal world need to do, is to listen and learn and to see the street people, talk to them and then to know it was and is the fault of the Judges who intrude into the childrens lifes, Judges are brought up in cotton wool, what do they know out side of their own little worlds. Having been a voice for the people for 40 years, I could write a book of comments said by those in power and how they refer to the nations people as the PLEBS, yes it was from them in power that I learnt the word the PLEBS. And so our children in the UK will continue to suffer unless some of the Judges come down from their high chairs and to give children their human rights and listen to them, then the Judges will know all children want to be loved by their biological families, not by the ones who they are sold to.
Jarl Ragnvald said:
I cannot share your enthusiasm for the proposed Ryder Reforms. They are not in fact reforms but a simple set of housekeeping and tidying up proposals.
The Family Courts and the Family Law require radical reforms where issues of residency and contact are determined post-separation of parents.
The future lives and the care and welfare of children and young people are far too important to be determined by the adversarial system which currently operates in Family Courts.
The adversarial system immediately polarises the positions of parents when the objective of the law is to assist them to work together in courteous cooperation in the best interests of their children. Each parent then appoints their respective legal `Champion’ to fight in the jousting contest euphemistically referred to as due process of law, and each legal Champion uses whatever legal ploys and tactics they know to obtain a successful outcome of their sponsor.
It is the rights of the parents which are promoted and pursued and the children are merely the prized possession which is the final award. Prized because of the anguish caused to the other parent who has lost the battle or because it results in a means of evading Child Support. The care and welfare of the child is of little consequence and the `Best interests of the child’ has become merely a suffix to justify the award to the winner.
The key players in this contest are the `Hired Gun’ Experts who can command exhorbitant fees in order to give preference to one or other of the parents based on a distortion of a specialised body of knowledge and often showing gender bias and a dogmatic opinion based on a distortion of the facts and a misinterpretation of events. Their expertise e.g. psychiatry, often has little to do with the facts in dispute e.g. child sexual abuse and they are frequently permitted to give evidence which is far outside of their area of expertise. i.e. mental illness of one or other of the parents.
Into this mix are also thrown CAFCASS workers, who may have some expertise in asessing families, but by no stretch of anyone’s imagination can they be accepted as experts in child development and child abuse, yet frequently are permitted to give evidence on such matters and to offer opinions on `the best interests of the child’ in terms of their future care and welfare.
Is it small wonder that so many children have been condemned to a childhood of continuing abuse at the hands of a selfish parent, and in some cases even death in a Revenge Killing.
A Child-Centred Tribunal of Inquiry model to determine the future care of children and young people could reduce, if not entirely remove, this arena and atmosphere of contest and would focus on the needs, wishes, and rights of the children involved, where they would be treated as human beings and not merely a parental possessions. They would focus on the Needs, Wishes, and Rights of the Children and Young People involved.
Tribunals of Inquiry could ideally be comprised of experts in child development and child protection and domestic violence with a Presiding judge and the assistance of a single legal counsel acting for the Tribunal. Neither parents would have legal representation. Although they could be assisted by a lay advocate to advise them as a Next Friend.
The savings in cost for legal representation and expert advice would be very considerably reduced as such would be embodied in the Tribunal composition, and the care and welfare of the child would become of paramount importance, rather than be left to the vagaries and vicissitudes of an adversarial system, whereby the competence and skills of the respective opposing lawyers are the determinant factor.
I understand, and you may be right, however Ryder does suggest moving away from the adversarial system to an inquisitive one, which, not by chance, gives judges much more power. This is a double egded sword, of course. The tone of the thing is diplomatic and measured but he seems mean business, which is often lacking in these reports. We will just have to wait and see which judges take the lead. The sensible judges may just be able to turn the system around, enough to start a cascade, but with so many bodies involved, both in the department sense and the family sense, it’s going to be a tall order. We will have to see; the full impact won’t be felt, if at all, before 2015 at the earliest, as full implementation is set to end around the end of 2014; time will tell.
Jarl Ragnvald said:
Many of you will remember that Florence Bellone was warded the European Commission Prize for investigative journalism for her report The UK Stolen Children.
Florence Bellone, Special Radio Prize, Great Britain: The Stolen Children, RTBF. European Commission.
This is her report to the UK Parliament. It identifies much that is wrong with the British system of child protection and reflects how European professionals are horrified by the British system. Please forgive the grammar.
The Child Protection System in England, Education Select Committee, Session 2010-12. Written evidence submitted by Florence Bellone 15 Nov 2011.
Step by step I was admitted inside family groups and could collect parents witnessing, see their evidence and court paperwork. Their psychiatric expertises picking up every little neurosis, life traumatism and element of personality to call them “mental health troubles”; their social workers reports with incoherent series of allegations, fake evidence and lies; the repressive and arbitrary style of every piece of paper deemed “confidential”; the denunciations, the anonymity of denunciators and experts as well, all this looked as a repetition of Vichy France, Nazi Germany, Stalin Russia or any totalitarian regime catalogue of repression tools. The amount of suffering and humiliation inflicted on innocent families “In the Best Interest of the Child” made me think of women tortured in Middle East “in the name of Allah”.
In January 2010, ironically, the leaders of the three big political parties produced in Parliament public apologies for the 70 years of Migrant Children programme. Only one thing changed from the end of that programme : the children are staying in the UK. They are adopted, in foster care or in children home.
To get a more complete insight into the system, I learnt how to be a basic McKenzie Friend. I say a basic one because this denomination includes from the profane knowing the law and asking right for audience to the supporter whispering advice to the parents in court and not able to challenge illegalities by the book. When legal aid is not available anymore for them, many parents become litigants in person but they are not enough experienced MKFs available for all of them. Hearings with parents allowed me to see how judges dealt with them. Also I could attend hours of assessments and pre-birth assessments of parents by social workers and other professionals involved in the process.
1° HOW SOCIAL SERVICES GET INVOLVED WITH A FAMILY?
a) DENUNCIATIONS. Social services call them referrals. For example, you call them to report noisy neighbours and say that they have a messy house and dirty kids. Quickly social workers would ring the bell of the designated home and after a few visits during which they open cupboards and tick cases on a stapled load of paper, the children would disappear (often a Friday afternoon) but nobody will know why and on which base the mess in the house became such a huge crime. If the social workers come just before the weekly shopping and open an almost empty refrigerator, they have a point and write that the family is starving the children. Schools in some area are like family police stations with a named teacher in charge of denunciating.
b) ASKING SOCIAL SERVICES FOR HELP. This is the major trap in which the humblest families are regularly falling. Families used to live in dependency of the state are literally social workers preys. They would call social services for solving some education or material problem. Its is often by the social workers appreciation that normal people have been deemed disabled and finally convinced of being disabled or of having mental health issues keeping them of working. The best example is “learning difficulties”, a major pretext for having neither work nor the right of keeping children. These parents could do any job which is not requiring intellectual skills and none of them switch on the gas cooker to get water. Most of the time they only lack education. And uneducated people are perfectly able to raise their kids and are often more concentrated on them than wealthy professionals.
c) ASKING HELP BECAUSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Many moms lost their children after leaving a violent partner.
They are told that even if they separated, there is a doubt on the emotional link which could push them to come back to the abuser. By precaution the children for who they asked help are also removed from her.
d) ACCIDENT OR ILLNESS. I believe that the baby illnesses or children accidents are the reason for which more and more middle-class and educated people fall in social services nets. A baby with brittle bones disease, for example, can happen in any social environment. By bringing your baby or child to A&E, you take the risk of being deemed a criminal. Creating a climate of fear related to the hospital will not solve cases of criminality toward children. It is just pushing the real criminals to hide their game better. No society can be healthy in these conditions. The number of parents who lost a baby to social services because of this means that because we don’t understand fully some illnesses, we make the families the new witches. Also children are accidents makers, only hypocrites would deny it. Parents know that they will be concerned for many years about a possible accident costing injuries or death to their children. But they can’t also worry about being accused of hurting them if that happens. If you want every parent to sign for a zero tolerance regarding their children accidents and health problems, let stop having children. Children cannot be a police tool to control citizens ! One thing is showing how dishonest the referral system to social services by doctors and hospitals is : most of the parents accused will not be prosecuted as police doesn’t prosecute without evidence. However social services will remove the children on the base of unproved allegations. The punishment happens for “in case you would be a criminal”. As the removal of babies at birth happens because “you might not be able to be a good mother”. The family courts are a tribunal of speculation, not facts.
e) HAVING BEING REMOVED FROM YOUR OWN PARENTS, ADOPTED OR RAISED INTO CARE. It is as having a tattoo indicating “property of the state”. When you get pregnant, you are treated as a recidivist. The files get you from birth. Very often, the reason to take your baby is imputed to the trauma of living into care or having being abused as a child! Very often the abuse happened into care or didn’t happen at all but the birth parents files say “abusers”.
2° BABIES REMOVED AT BIRTH AND PRE-BIRTH ASSESMENTS.
This is an atrocity. No other European country does this. It is a crime against humanity and despite being a quite strong and privileged person, it caused me more bad nights that the thought of poverty and famine. Keeping a baby of the health benefits of being breastfed is also a crime. I have seen in a maternity a mom feeding and cuddling her son before a complete stranger would snatch him from his cot. But in some maternities the new moms are locked in an isolated room sometimes guarded by a policeman. In some hospitals the social workers trawl for babies as vultures and take several in the same week. During pre-birth assessments, social workers who don’t like the father would blackmail the mother to separate. They would also blackmail the grand-parents trying to get the residency of the baby to keep him or her from vanishing through the adoption market. Then they put as a condition for residency that they will cut the ties with the parents, so their own children. The choice is “your grand-child or your children”. Social workers have a special taste for destroying couples and families.
Women prohibited of being mothers are said to pose a “risk of future emotional harm” to their children, and often deemed “emotionally unstable”. As far as I am concerned emotional stability happens only after brain death. And for exposing a child to emotional harm, this is the only way of keeping him or her alive. Life is bringing emotional harm and if it was only through the family, it won’t be much harm. Cafcass and social workers think that they are better than nature and that the harm caused by their brutal control will do a better adult than the birth parents emotions. But if later the child becomes a 18 years old pregnant lady, still half-child and already half-adult, she will be treated as an adult and will have her baby removed. This has triggered many suicides of young ladies. Remember the “British Fritzl” daughters who endured years of abuse rather than reporting him, because the social workers would remove their children. Even born from incest and abuse those children had at least loving mothers.
3° USE OF PSYCHIATRY
This is the oldest technique of repression in modern world and the only one allowing the elimination of individuals who did nothing to be jailed. I met parents who have been sectioned and honestly, if we follow the standard of mental health used by social services, we should section the totality of Latin countries where many of the syndromes used to catalogue parents are even not recognised. The Muchausen by Proxy syndrome is among the funniest. It is when you bring your child to the doctor to attract attention on yourself. It is one of the major causes of children removal. In my view the experts making this diagnosis are dangerous psychopaths. Psychiatry is not an exact science but it is still supposed to be from the medical sector, not the police one.
Every aspect of the personality can become a “personality disorder” when it comes to remove a child. But which personality disorder leads people to work in such a disgusting business as framing families, violating human rights and manipulating children life? I would quote an amazing letter of referral to social services received by one family: the grand-mother got angry in the hospital because of poor care given to her grand-son. The letter said that her grand-daughter was also present and because she saw her grand-mother angry, social services had serious concerns about her emotional future ! I understand the importance that the Anglo-Saxon society sees in being self-controlled and I understand that some other countries are famous for showing rudeness. But obviously self-control is used for making the people behave like sheep, not for making them balanced and happy. I have seen parents deemed “rebel” as a negative point and social services would always ask the parents “to work” with the “professionals”! A mother fled to France to give birth. The police had known that she was not a missing person and so closed the case. The social workers were so pissed-off to have missed her baby that they sent a threatening letter through their solicitor to her family. It is written that she had being verbally abusive in the social services office and hit a window so strongly that she broke it. I show the letter to a French social worker who is helping her starting a new life, so that she would understand that I was not exaggerating anything. She said: “I would have blown up their office if they would want to take my baby.”
4° FORCED ADOPTION AND GAGGING ORDER
Forced adoption is against Human Rights, nature and common sense, and remind me in its many aspects about slavery and all kind of people “owning” other people. It is prohibited in all Europe and should be abolished without exception because it is virtually impossible to make sure that it won’t be any mistake or derive, as for death penalty. Social workers abuses exist everywhere but with forced adoption outlawed, the miscarriage of justice is not definitive, it can be fought. With no gagging order, the press can expose and the citizens react. You would never believe how many people told me that I was surely wrong when I said that British children could be adopted against the wishes of their parents. Even some of my British friends didn’t believe it. I’m convinced that the purpose of the gagging order is to avoid publicity for something which would disgust the people and to make sure that the international community doesn’t suspect what is going on. It would be possible to advertise: “you will loose your children if you are not conforming to the type of parent we want you to be”. Most of the punishments for more most of the crimes are known and the state wants the people to know them, from fines to life sentence. Most families are not aware than social services can destroy family life quicker than any genetic illness before it happen to them. The gagging order is supposed to protect the privacy and anonymity of minors. But children from 11 explained me that they have been prohibited of going to court despite asking for telling the judge that they didn’t wish to be separated from their families. They told me that the gagging order was only made to do this in all impunity. The gagging order also make evidence related to Child Protection a breach of law in itself. Several adults told me how they fled their adoptive parents and found back their birth parents and the truth on what had been done to them. One explained me how the police made him sign declarations against his mother by telling him that he was certifying that he had a meal.
Numerous foreign children have also been removed, mainly from Africa and Eastern Europe, but also from Western Europe. Because there is no warning regarding the removal of children in the UK, foreigners are taken completely by surprise. Parents have even been deported and children kept in the UK.
5° FAMILY COURTS
The family court does expeditionary justice. Particularly in County courts the judge believes the social worker and refuses to consider hard evidence brought by parents. The child is legally represented by a Cafcass guardian who in many occasions, didn’t meet him or her. The parents have no right to bring witnesses but the social workers can bring as many witnesses and experts from their “corporation” that they want. The social workers present a list of solicitors agreed by the Local Authority to the parents. They work against the parents behind their backs, enjoying the lack of legal knowledge of their victims. I have several judgements showing the building of fake evidence at a ridiculous level without even any care for making this fake evidence looking true. It is brutal to say this but social workers perjury, administration cover-up and mock trials are dominating family courts. No wonder why they don’t want the press to see this. In COA I have seen a judge who is now in the House of Lords justifying to a father the removal of his son that way: “You show that you could probably be a good father but you will raise your son in the dislike of the professionals (social workers) involved in your life.” In a County Court I have seen the solicitor of the LA short of arguments and pleading the Human Right of the adoptive parents who didn’t even know the baby. “They had been shown pictures of him and they would be distraught if told that the birth mother was opposing the adoption.” The judge acknowledged possible failures in the adoption process but said that he just wanted the baby adopted quickly for “his best interest”. The adoptive parents are also lied to and kept of knowing the truth.
6° PARENTAL UNITS AND PEOPLE INVOVED IN CHILD PROTECTION
The parental unit or residential unit is a mini gulag where parents live under CCTVs even when going to the toilet. They are observed as mice developing illness in Huntingdon laboratory. Couples split under the pressure of the prison style life. As for prisoners and guardians, favouritism is putting some families under more pressure than others. Visits from relatives are restricted and friends visits are prohibited. They can’t go out or not alone. At the issue of this humiliating process, social workers think they know if those parents are OK or not to keep their children. This concept alone is a multiple violation of the Human Right chart.
The same kind of people accepts the same kind of tasks in similar circumstances in any country. Giving people the power of wrecking lives by their own judgement leads to torture spirit and police state. Many social workers and Cafcass guardians show signs of being repressed, frustrated, sadistic and enjoying a high level of voyeurism. Some only show signs of fearing loosing their job. When a social worker is not like this and dares writing a positive report on a family, the parents don’t see him or her again. A mainstream social worker is getting the case. The social workers are ordering the police, not the contrary. Very often, the police don’t like them but can’t afford to not obey them. Hundreds of British families have fled abroad but the British police is never as zealous as the social workers about it, sometimes advising the families to never come back. More policemen had lost children to social services than social workers have been arrested by police.
IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE IDEOLOGY.
The biggest debate running about Forced adoption is : Money or ideology ?
The costs of bringing some help to parents in difficulty would be nothing in comparison with the costs of assessments and proceedings. But many people earn money of this children traffic, from the foster families to the courts. One historian told me that “money was only the lubricant of the ideology”. The fight to avoid infanticides didn’t find any answer in the actual Child Protection system.
forced adoption said:
This time JARL I agree with you entirely,every single word, and any reasonable person reading the above would do the same.
Charlotte Peters Rock said:
Will ‘family courts’ actually allow the wider – supportive – family into the room at all?
Will they exclude – for all time – bullying Judges?
Will they exclude for all time the time serving, self-serving social workers, cafcass officers, so-called ‘medical professionals’?
Will they check the credentials to establish which of them has any right to appear before a court?
Will they make Court staff abide by the law, instead of allowing shifty solicitors to cook the final Court Order?
Will they check that any written evidence is actually based on fact?
Will they ever put the best interests of the child/children first?
The only way to improve the Family Court system, is to insist on intelligent, caring unselfinterested people, to make firm decisions which are based on fact and care.
That is an awfully tall order.
Did I see a flight of pigs pass the window?
[Name Witheld] said:
I totally agree with you 100% . Firstly I can firm that the court staff do not abide by the rules. Judges do not request physical evidence as proof that a parent has changed. No New evidence has been proven by the SS, where is the documents to prove that a parent or birth family has not changed? just going over old evidence that is passed.
Secondly Social Services fabricate unlawful information, and the Judges agrees with them without out even checking the paperwork accurately.
The adoptive parents are given falsified information about the child’s background, knowing that her birth family are still fighting to this day for their blood relative.
The blood family are to this day fighting for their love one and the SS are claiming that she has been placed with strangers. This was circumvent for the pass year and everyone is sweeping it under the carpet and nothing is being done about it.
Falsified information being passed in the court of law by Local authority claiming a person has been granted an SGO, which is in accurate no paperwork as physical evidence can confirm this to this day.
How can you trust anyone, when the children are being abused by strangers and the local authority do not follow up on their placements or prospective adopters. Listen to the cry of children wanting their birth families. This is why they abuse their adoptive or foster parents, because they miss their birth families, read the documentaries on Long Lost families, tears after tears.
What is missing from all comments, along with the laws, the Judges, social workers and the whole army of the so called professionals, are the childrens voices, as I repeat, children are the silent witnesses. A child using the Gillick Competent Rule, should be allowed to be heard, but then I also know of many children who have been denied this rule by the courts. The power is with the children, of which under the childrens human rights, it is very clear, that all children are to be listend to along with their wishes and wants made known. But still they go unheard and ignored. A Cafcass women working with children for 30 years, said to me, all children tell lies, with no child knowing what they want. So much for the cafcass, but then she is equal to most social workers and the professionals which is all hear say, and what they think is correct, we can all learn from books as the professionals have done so, but it is so different then working for truth with people En Masse, here lies the truth with the Nation and the children. Many years ago Dr Spock wrote a book as a guide for all mothers (Baby and Child Care) he forgot to write that all children are indivduals, same as the human race. We should all be fighting for children to be heard and their wishes made known to the courts, then we may see change into a corrupt system, that states “in a childs best interest”
Jarl Ragnvald said:
After a three year old gave evidence directly to a Judge in the English Criiminal Court and her evidenxce was given considerable weighting in his judicial considerations, there can be no argument against children participating in any legal proceedings and can give evidence to Courts.
UK CAFCASS workers are obviously ignorant of the latest research regarding children’s testimony and in particular that it has been established that in 96% of child sexual abuse allegations, the children were found to be truthful. Are UK CAFCASS workers so far behind in their education and training.?.
I hear daily from many families, and at the moment we have so many children aged 12 to 16 who the judges will not allowed the Gillick rule to be used, all of these children are wanting to be home with their families. There was also another case of a 6 year old allowed to speak in court, and the childs wishes were granted. This is the only way forward is for the judges to hear a child, and for all of the judges to know that the victorian days are long gone. I do know from filming the kids from the care system now living on the streets, that when in care they were very frightened to speak out, and many people told me that the social workers use to threaten them if they spoke of any abuse or to what they wanted, I am told they had to tell all they were happy in care.
Jarl Ragnvald said:
When the ‘Gesture’ managers in social work decided that children and young people could attend their statutory Care Reviews, they ensured that they did not influence proceedings and what the social workers had decided before such meetings. At the Care Reviews the children and young people were and are bullied and intimidated and their views completely disregarded. Many simply refuse to attend their Care Reviews with a despairing “Whats the point?. No one takes any notice of what I have to say!”.
I have accompanied numerous children and young people to such Care Reviews and although I am a `seasoned’ former social work professional have been verbally attacked and treated with contempt, solely for arguing for the child’s views to be heard. I agree with the children that the Care Review system is a complete waste of time, as the decisions have been made in advance and their views are of no consequence.
At the last Care Review I attended as advocate for a young person lacking in confidence and articulacy to give their views, I was quickly put down with a contemptuous comment of, “If we want you to put this young person’s views to the meeting, then we’ll ask you”. Of course they never asked me.
At the end of the mereting, the social work manager said to me, “I don’t know why you came, we are here for the child!.”. My choking and fuming retort is not publishable.
forced adoption said:
The only remedy for all this is to scrap the whole ss system and leave child cruelty to be dealt with by the police (as it always used to be before the sixties) Parents would have the same protection from the courts as criminals if family courts operated under the same rules as the criminal justice system.Surely mothers whose babies are taken at birth should at the very least have the same legal protection as that afforded in court to the likes of Dr Shipman,Sutcliffe,and Myra Hindley?
Bruno D'Itri said:
Anyone for Badminton?
Olympic officials introduced a ‘round robin’ stage in the Badminton tournament which meant that losing a game could lead to an easier match-up in the next round.
Rather predictably, some individuals attempted to lose their round-robin match in an effort to better their chances of winning a medal.
They were lambasted by everyone and disqualified by the Olympic officials.
Shouldn’t the officials themselves accept some responsibility for this debacle?
After all, it was their system which incentivised such unwanted behaviour.
Similarly, whilst individual investment bankers gambled and lost huge sums, to the detriment of the banking industry, shouldn’t those officials in charge of the banking system have accepted some responsibility?
Human behaviour is quite predictable. Many individuals will do what is in their personal interests, even if the behaviour is deemed ungallant.
In my view, the officials in charge of a system which incentivises unwanted behaviour should bear some responsibility.
Had the officials left the Badminton as a straight knock-out, and had the banks’ remuneration committees based bankers’ bonuses upon long-term rather than short-term gains, they would have encouraged desirable behaviour instead.
What on earth has all this got to do with family law, you may well ask!
Well, there is ungallant and immoral behaviour exhibited by many divorcing parents, for example, in the making of false accusations of domestic violence and child abuse and in refusing to abide by contact orders.
Instead of deterring and punishing this abhorrent behaviour, the family court system actually encourages and rewards it by allowing an embittered parent successfully to exclude an unwanted ex-partner from the lives of their children.
Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the Family Division, accepts no responsibility whatsoever for a family justice system which facilitates and incentivises such abhorrent behaviour.
Instead, he simply blames the parents themselves for “using their children as weapons”. He, like the Olympic and banking officials, relinquishes all personal responsibility.
Mr Justice Ryder should seek to completely overhaul his family justice system so that damaging behaviour is deterred and punished, and cooperative behaviour is incentivised and rewarded.
Such a system as you propose has been in place in Australia for six years and has led to many horrendous outcomes for children and young people. Firstly because of blatant misogyny and bias in the legal profession against mothers. As one Senior Counsel has remarked “Family Court judges will forgive any behaviour by a father but will not tolerate any mother with `attitude'”!. These attitudes are based on the myths and memes spread by Father’s Rights advocates that all women lie about personal assault by their partners/spouses and that all children lie about abuse. This is despite very considerable research which shows the opposite to be true. (Children are trutful in 96% of allegations of sexual abuse).
Proving domestic violence and child abuse in Australian Family Courts is very nearly impossible because of the legal hurdles to be surmounted. Firstly under the Evidence Act the `gravity’ of the nature of the allegation has to be considered and then a standard of evidential proof “at the extreme end of the scale” is applied. (See M & M 1988). Presumably this `extreme end’ is almost the criminal standard yet no one is charged with any offence and the purpose of such hearings are to determine whether, or not, a child needs to be protected from abuse.
Family Courts have therefore become `Quasi-Criminal Courts. (For full explanation see Krach & Krach 2009)
So no matter what the allegation of partner violence and child abuse, the chances of success are virtually negligible. Even in rare cases where such allegations are accepted by the Courts (see Garning 2012), they are then disregarded and ignored as paramount importance is given to the right of each parent to have `meaningful relationship’ with their child. This applies even if a parent has never previously taken an interest in the child over several years and may be a complete ctranger to the child. It applies also if the parent has a criminal record for child abuse and violence, paedophilia, drug trafficking, psychopathic mental disorder. For example a father with a criminal finding of child sexual abuse was given weekend custody of his two daughters who the judge considered would be at risk from him, but they would be safe if he put a lock on their bedroom door for use at nights. Another small girl was placed in the sole custody of a father with a long history of sexually deviant behaviour and with HIV/AIDS (he has since died but not before the child suffered years of sexual abuse).
Several mothers who have been unable to prove domestic violence and child abuse to the satisfaction of the Courts under these conditions, have been labelled as `Unfriendly’ (presumably towards the abusive parent) and their punishments have included several months of imprisonment, very high fines, Court costs awarded against them, but worst of all they have had their children removed and the alleged abusers given sole custody and the mother having no contact (ever).
Due to increasing public concern at the considerable number of children who have been being killed by embittered fathers in Revenge Killings as a consequence of these laws, the Au government commissioned six reviews into the workings of this Family Law within two years of its implementation. Subsequently some minor changes have been made in the laws, but clearly insufficient to make a difference and the myths and memes held within the legal professions still remain. Many lawyers in fact now advise mothers not to raise issues and allegations of domestic violence and child abuse in the Family Courts because of the very high risk that they cannot be proven to the Court’s satisfaction (see evidential standard requirements above) and that consquently their children will be taken from them.
Thank you for your post, Satyr. As it happens, I didn’t make these recommendations; they have been put forward by Mr Justice Ryder.
My response was in reply to Bruno D’Itri and his allegations of false allegations in Family Courts. They are `Unproven’ allegations and not false allegations.
Many thanks for explaining, Satyr.
Bruno D'Itri said:
Such is the robust reputation of ‘Researching Reform’ in the legal fraternity (not least amongst its senior judiciary), it wouldn’t at all be a surprise to learn that Mr Justice Ryder carefully consulted the erudite contents of its posts prior to arriving at his recent recommendations.
Unless any person has gone through the family courts as a victim with false allegations thrown at them from the social services and the whole army in a childs best interest, then no one will ever know of the trauma for the families. £24.000 I paid, and was not allowed to give my evidence, or to speak in court, but had to listen to the lies or should we say the hear say of the ss and the army, I will say to all, that in the closed family courts there is no justice what so ever. The judge was kind enough to say i can have contact with my ???? sorry i have a gagging order, but the social worker pulled the plug and told me, we can over rule the judge and courts. This is a fact and not lies or hear say of the powers of the SS. No family in this country has one chance to defend them selfs, and so the children will continue to be sold in a system in a childs best interest. I would like my £24.000 returned yea in my mind. I would also like to see one day a lawyer who will speak out against the SS and the army in the family courts. But it will not be in my time.
Sabine Kurjo McNeill said:
I have just learned that the Musas were sentenced to SEVEN years imprisonment…
What else can I do but weep? I hope it’s ‘healthier’ than to experience the wrath of god at a ‘system’ that is simply too much to bear for any and all of the individuals involved, especially the baby born in prison – prevented from breast feeding – at what: “risk of emotional harm”???
Let’s be honest: what matters is the INTENTION – of everybody involved. The Judge had not disclosed his affiliations, a whistleblower disclosed that the Jury was rigged and thus it does not matter whatever ‘law’ or ‘reform’ is written on any paper.
What matters is, whether judges do or don’t want to protect paedophiles or other criminal ‘buddies’. And the more power they have, the more they will abuse it.
Meanwhile children need to be ‘supplied’ to abusers. In Wales one mother has lost contact with her child, after she reported to have been molested by the 12-year old foster son!
Victims of falsified bankruptcies end up in prison just as much as victims of child snatching, when they dare to ‘object’.
As a MINIMUM, the secrecy should be lifted, don’t you think? 1,043 signatures and 16,372 page views on http://bit.ly/kExfF1
Nelson Mandela may be our only consolation and model for hope rather than younger judges. The current dinosaurs were young, too, after all… But who knows what happened to them when they were in boarding school rather than with their loving families???
Big Sighs rather than hopes, I’m afraid…
I don’t know what to say. xxx