Spotlight on child protection in family courts
Gov.UK – 21 May
Ministers have announced that an MOJ-chaired panel of experts will review how the family courts protect children and parents in cases of domestic abuse and other serious offences. A public call for evidence will also be launched and the panel will report back with recommendations in three months.
Mother who abducted child and then tried to hide her ordered to return her to Australia
Marilyn Stowe Blog – 21 May
John Bolch discusses the recent case of Uhd v McKay, in which the court decided to release full details of the case, despite there being a child involved. A British national who had resided in Australia for 22 years and separated from her Australian husband, took their young daughter to England without the father’s consent. Under the Hague Convention on Child Abduction, the mother was forced to return their child.
Many vulnerable children with learning disabilities are stuck in mental health hospitals for too long in poor conditions
Children’s Commissioner – 20 May
Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, has published a report on vulnerable children with learning disabilities and the amount of time they are spending in mental health hospitals. According to Longfield, too many children are being admitted unnecessarily and are living in poor conditions.
Government’s plans for domestic abuse do not reflect scale of the issue
Family Law Week – 19 May
Rachel Dickinson, President of the Association of Directors for Children's Services, has responded to the Government's consultation on support for domestic abuse victims. Dickinson has suggested ‘a public health style response is the only sensible way forward’, and more funding was needed for emotional, psychological and practical support.
Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 becomes law
Family Law Week – 19 May
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Act 2019 has received Royal Assent and has become law. The Act amends the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in relation to procedures in accordance with which a person may be deprived of liberty where the person lacks capacity to consent.
Theresa May rejects calls from 120 MPs for public inquiry into family courts after four children murdered by abusive parents
The Independent – 16 May
More than 120 MPs have called on the Prime Minister to launch a public inquiry into how courts protect vulnerable children and victims of domestic abuse, after it was revealed that four children have died at the hands of their parents in the last five years. Theresa May has rejected the calls, stating that the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has not seen evidence to suggest a public inquiry is necessary.