Welcome to another week.
Former President of the Family Division, James Munby has urged the government to ask the public if it would like to be able to Skype judges during hearings rather than attend a physical court.
The question comes as the country faces mass court closures, with many already unable to attend available court houses without having to travel vast distances. Munby highlighted this issue by giving an example of a mother living in a rural area, who does not own a car, having to get to the court.
Our question this week then, is just this: do you think being able to virtually attend court hearings using Skype is a good idea?
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Roger Crawford said:
A good idea, but only if you use Skype! Perhaps a better idea would be to arrange a private room or two in Council Offices or Village Halls for the exclusive use of Court attendees, with the relevant equipment provided. With instructions or someone to help for those not au fait with modern technology. (Like me!).
Ian Josephs said:
Skype for courts would certainly save money for families living some way from the courts or who have to take two or three days off work to attend (and then not be allowed to speak!)
A Better reform however would be to abolish taking children for risk and only remove them if they had actually already suffered significant harm.
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Dr. Manhattan. said:
The Family courts should not be dealing with the removal of children from parents who have not committed any offence against them.
Social services should only be involved in cases where the police have established that children have been harmed and the parents have a previous record of violence or drug/alcohol abuse.
Video of all interviews with parents and children should be available to parents,their solicitors and independent advocates.
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This is certainly a positive attitude to a very difficult question and one that I would endorse.