Friday, December 19, 2008

London family courts become more open

A UK Guardian newspaper columnist writes:
The secrecy of the family courts – in which nearly 95,000 cases are heard in private each year – is to end under reforms just announced by Jack Straw, the justice secretary. The media will be allowed access to all levels of the system – except for final adoption proceedings. ...

If the interests of the child are genuinely to come first then, as of next year, the truths revealed in the newly transparent family courts should confirm that some children are cruelly robbed of a loving family by social workers, following a trail of accident, innuendo, pseudo medical "certainties" and false assumptions. ...

Transparency and openness in the family courts will at least mean that evidence and counter-evidence can be examined and exposed to public scrutiny. And, as a result, the complexity and difficulty of arriving at a decision to take a child away from its parent or parents, may be better understood. It's a gamble whether, as a result, the tide constantly running against social workers, may turn.

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