Family Court transparency: has New Labour reneged on its promise?

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  • i think it has more to do with the injustices families recieve during care proceedings cases such as the websters for instance i dont think the press will really be that interested in divorce cases

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  • I feel it is more to do with the collusion of social workers, Guardians and expert witnesses in family court cases, which is the real concern.
    So many innocent parents have been set up and are angry over the injustice of it all, leading them to suffer legal abuse syndrome, like Sally Clarke.
    The judges are called rubberstamps and the lawyers and barristers labelled spineless, because they live in fear of Local Authorities and refuse to defend their clients fully.
    I have witnessed all the tricks imaginable used by social workers and Guardians and expert witnesses, and in the final analysis, I saw it was all about the money and children are the commodity to be bought and sold like slaves- as is legal once you register with a birth cert.
    It is nothing to do with law or Justice- just money.
    We as a society have sold our souls and the souls of the nation's children to line our pockets.
    We have lost all respect for moral and right behaviour, as we feel we are answerable to no one.
    Rest assured- we are all answerable to ourselves in the final hour before death.

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  • Lets hope that Social Workers,and other professionals, will abide by the Public and Private Law Guidelines, now they are being put under the spotlight,which should prevent shoddy practice.
    But the injustices will continue, if High Court Judges will not overturn Adoption orders, if there has been a clear miscarriage of justice.
    And now we have a change with reference to barristers,and the Legal Aid system, of which Parents may have to represent themselves, within the Family Court, which once again, will prevent a fair trial,as they don't have the knowledge of a very complex side of the Law.
    Good McKenzie Friends are very few in numbers.

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  • Both comments echo my own, I wonder how long jack straw can keep the public from the courts ? Its in the publics interest to see justice being done..it is also in the publics interest to be aware of the huge number of decent parents that have suffered grave miscarriages of justice.....have you any idea how many parents feel deceived and robbed by the family courts ? No... you couldnt possibly, they are all gagged,emotionally and mentally these parents go through a living hell without their children.
    You are so right too, the publics faith in the family courts is non existent, fabricated reports stand uncorrected, blatant perjury ignored,Cafcass simply a replica of the Sw present, multiple conflicts of interest, cosy relationships, expert witnesses stepping out of their specialism,(but can never get it wrong),collusion between all parties and your own lawyer is the norm,children s true feelings ignored,profound impact on parents health ignored,we know that the childs best interests is a cover for the fact you dont care, it is a conveyor belt system that squeezes as much money out of the parents and child as it possibly can. Within those corrupt walls a parent loses all credibility before they enter the courtroom. So please excuse us if we: avoid A&E depts, (websters) dont complain to often to GP re:childs ailments, (MSBP/FII) admit to being depressed,(child removed) ask for assistance as disabled, (child removed) admit to smacking child (child removed)admit to abusive childhood (child removed) if pregnant just flee the country, as the UK is no place for children.
    Thanks to the totalitarian big nosed corporate parent that thought and still thinks it can do a better job than natural though seemingly imperfect parents....though it fails the childs needs so miserably.

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  • Regardless of the collapse of the public's faith in the Family Court as a viable means of resolving disputes, do members of the legal profession itself have any faith in the FC apart from as a source of income at the early stage of a dispute?
    The firm of solicitors my family originally consulted back in 2001, regarding a developing dispute between the local authority and my family, suggested very strongly that we avoid dealing with the matter through the Family Court or the then-embryonic CAFCASS, precisely because of poor legislation coupled with corruption, expense, inefficiency, malpractice and especially the bias of the FC towards the LA. We therefore managed the dispute, with some success, via the NHS, carers' charities, and private healthcare. However, the LA suddenly insisted on pushing the matter into the Family Court, which led to solicitors, barristers, judges and “expert witnesses” being introduced, a move which completely wiped out the mutually tolerable evolved solution up to that point and transferred all the remaining family assets into professional fees. The result was the replacement of the solution with perpetual expensive litigation in the courts over trivia, loss and falsification of social worker records, perjury, dissolution of a marriage, some very bizarre second opinions, destruction of a functioning financially self-sufficient family, insolvency, and the entire family becoming dispersed and dependent on state benefits. The original dispute became re-activated, but now neither parent, now acting individually, can find any way of funding legal representation, as the public funding for solicitors (largely to sit behind barristers in court) is now so low that the local partnerships have withdrawn their solicitors from all family court work. Meanwhile the LA seems prepared to pay, from a seemingly bottomless fund, for its own legal team in order to meet, according to its own argument in court, government targets on social reform. From what I have read in the last few weeks, I realise that my experience above is far from unique, and indeed is being repeated every day. I welcome extension of press monitoring into the Family Court.
    That original consultation eight years ago has proved devastatingly accurate. Yet only now is the government taking action, or pretending to do so, and only then under threat of publicity. What happened to standard continual quality improvement standards in all areas of business and public life? And how did the Family Court become an instrument for the imposition of government policy rather than a forum for managing or even resolving disputes?

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