Welcome to another week.
The family courts in England and Wales use the civil courts’ “balance of probability” standard when it comes to assessing evidence in family cases.
In criminal courts, the standard implemented when trying to decide whether something did or didn’t happen based on the evidence in court, is “beyond reasonable doubt“.
Our question this week, which has been placed inside a poll on Twitter, reads:
Should the family courts stop using the “balance of probability” test when examining evidence in child welfare cases, and use the “beyond reasonable doubt” test instead?
Yes, No, or do you think the test should be something entirely different?
Let us know what you think over on twitter, or in the comments section below. Our poll on Twitter runs for 7 days.
Many thanks to Dana for sharing an article on this subject.
Mike Howard said:
If the family courts were a level playing field, the balance of probabilities would be fine, but time and time again they have been found to be anything but fair and therefore in the interest of true justice ideally it should probably be altered to something in between the 2 options, though I admit I am struggling to find the right wording. Any suggestions?
Is there any “right words” for a system where the application of JUSTICE is absent. The system is based on what the “thought police” (the children’s social services) decide what their version of the truth is This is accepted by the plethora of corrupt judges, compliant barristers, solicitors, Cafcass and paid expert witnesses, who toe the official line and participate in the system for profit. The figure of JUSTICE is not only blind but gagged and turns her back on the innocent.
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Ian Josephs said:
Of course criminal standards of proof should apply before branding parents as child abusers ! I have been campaigning for more than 20 years to replace family courts by criminal courts or to at least force family courts to operate with the same rules of evidence as criminal courts.
This would have far reaching results because it is obvious that NOONE can forecast the future” beyond reasonable doubt” (or” for sure” if that new standard is adopted) so taking children for future risk would go by the board and babies would no longer be taken at birth from LAW ABIDING mothers..
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Let me get my crystal ball…. !
The balance of probabilities is a nonsense. Different interpretations by different people based on their own different experiences which may change depending how they feel on a particular day. Give 10 people the information & they will have 10 different views.
The balance of probabilities should go.
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[Name Withheld] said:
Balance and probabilities Definitely needs to go,it took all my grandchildren for possible future harm that hasnt happened.
Same here maybe significant harm from seeing parents argue when dad is late bringing them home or because he just walks in the door and accuses of having men there because he’s told to go if they were held like criminal courts there wouldn’t be innocent kids in care but the prisons will be full of social workers so called solicitors childs guardians of the court and judges if they help solve issues before and even a supervision order they are given enough budget they should have solid evidence phycologists reports and the children should be in court as well to be able to hear what these social workers have lied about the things the kids have supposed to have said in unsupervised meetings can’t they see the harm they are doing.how can any law say your kids are in foster care till they are 18 and not entertain solving whatever issues to able the kids to return home