‘Landmark’ overhaul for domestic abuse laws
BBC News – 21 January
A draft bill overhauling domestic abuse laws will be going before MPs. Proposed changes include banning abusers from cross-examining victims and recognise economic abuse and control as a form of domestic abuse. Victims giving evidence at criminal trials will now automatically be eligible for special protection.
Woman ordered not to contact son spared jail for going to parents’ evening
The Guardian – 14 January
Mr Justice Hayden has decided against imprisoning a woman who attended her son’s parents evening, despite being ordered not to contact him. The woman argued that there was an exemption order which allowed her to attend events at the request of the school.
DfE threatened with judicial review over children’s social care ‘myth-busting’ document
Community Care – 11 January
The Department for Education has been threatened with legal action by charity, Article 39, over a ‘misleading’ document on vulnerable children. Campaigners are arguing that the document contains ‘numerous errors and misrepresentations… and removes essential protection for many vulnerable children’.
Father liable for cost of child conceived without his permission
Marilyn Stowe Blog – 10 January
John Bolch discusses the case of ARB v IVF Hammersmith & Another, where a child was conceived through IVF without the father’s consent or knowledge. The father then issued proceedings against the clinic and attempted to recover damages for the cost of his daughter’s upbringing. Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal refused.
Repatriation fees for forced marriage victims abolished
The Guardian – 9 January
The Foreign Office has dropped repatriation charges for victims of forced marriage, following numerous complaints from charities. Jeremy Hunt has now stated that any victim dealing with the Foreign Office forced marriage repatriation unit will no longer have to pay any costs, and will instead be transferred to the perpetrator, where possible.
Rise in children taken into care pushes 88% of councils over budget
The Guardian – 8 January
In the 2017-18 financial year, 88% of councils overspent on children’s social care, collectively going over budget by an estimated £807 million. These figures correspond with the fact that the number of children being taken into care and ‘looked after’ is at a ten-year high. It has been estimated that by 2025, there will be a £3 billion funding gap in children’s care.