Former President of the Family Division Sir James Munby has said that plans to allow children the right to speak to judges overseeing family cases that involved them had been shelved because “in plain English, it would all cost too much”.
Munby went on to say that “detailed proposals” to implement that right had been drawn up, “but nothing can come into effect without the approval of the minister”.
The revelation comes after this site made a Freedom of Information request asking the government about its promise to give children the right to discuss their wishes and feelings with judges working on child welfare cases.
The request was part of a Researching Reform campaign to establish a legal right for children to have access to their judges in family cases and crucially, to be able to ask any question they wished, as well as share their feelings on the case.
In response to our campaign Sir James Munby who was then President of the Family Division reminded the government that children who wanted to discuss their wishes and feelings with judges should be able to do so.
The Researching Reform campaign to implement children’s right to speak to judges was then picked up by the BBC who interviewed us on the background to the government’s pledge and the reasons behind the failure to implement the right.
Munby made the comments about children’s voices inside the family courts to the BBC this week.
- RR For Lexis Nexis: Children Have No Right To Speak To Judges
- Top Judge: Law Has Trouble Viewing Children As Real People
- Researching Reform Freedom Of Information Request on Children’s Right to Speak to Judges