Category Archives: Statutory Rights, Legislation, & Acts

Useful Links, articles, and/ or publications advising us of our Lgal Rights within this country. To include Statuatory Bills and Acts which are to be upheld to ensure compliance in accordance to the European Court of Human Rights/ right of appeal. The Law of the Land in Britain and how it is enforced regionallly

I would put this as a must-read (adoption case, dynamite)


The case is very fact-specific (the facts are extraordinary) but it is still very important.

I’ve written before about the leave to oppose adoption case law and whether this is a meaningful legal right given that there are no reported cases of an adoption being successfully opposed (there’s one law report of a Court being persuaded to make a Residence Order rather than adoption, but the child remaining with the prospective adopters).

For it to be a meaningful legal right, there must be some set of circumstances which would result in the opposition to adoption resulting in placement back in the birth family. But, the consequences of that for the recruitment and retention of adopters is massive.

As Holman J observed, this case is likely to attract strong opinions on both sides, and it does turn very much on an unprecedented set of facts.

Re A and B and Rotherham…

View original post 6,382 more words

what should you do if social services steal your children?

what should you do if social services steal your children?.

what should you do if social services steal your children?

An attempt to give some practical advice

I was reading this blog post at the always excellent Not So Big Society 

involving an unfortunate father who had his children removed and has reacted to this by constructing a case against Leeds City Council for genocide, which has been struck out and is now awaiting an appeal in the High Court against that striking out.

I think one can never, ever, underestimate what a profoundly awful experience having a bad time with Social Services must be. There is very little (possibly nothing, now that capital punishment no longer exists in this country) that the law can do to you that is worse than taking your children away.  And for that reason, whilst people like this are wrong and misguided, I can see why they are driven to these awful pieces of decision-making.

I’ll make no bones about it – I’m a lawyer for social workers, and I present cases in which sometimes social workers have to be asking for children to be removed and placed in care.

Sometimes, hopefully rarely, that’s the wrong thing to do. Sometimes, it is unequivocally the right thing to do. But almost universally, and far dwarfing those ‘definitely right’ or ‘definitely wrong’ cases, it is very sad.

It’s certainly not done to spite the parent, or for money, or to meet targets, or any of the other conspiracy theories; ultimately it is because a professional who is responsible in law for keeping that child safe reaches a point where they no longer feel that they can keep the child safe at home.

And you won’t believe it, but it honestly is the hope of social workers and people like me, in all but the very worst cases, that going to Court will bring about a change that will let us send the children home.

That doesn’t help, if it is your child. I understand that.

But I’m sure that what you want, if your child has been taken off you, is to get your child back.  All of the Freeman of the Land, and your law doesn’t apply to me, and all social workers are wan*ers, and shouting the odds, really, really don’t get your child back.   The success rates of all of those people who nod at Christopher Brooker’s columns and tell other parents how to fight the system is really very poor, honestly.

Other than factual determination cases, where there’s something that looks like a deliberate or non-accidental injury and the Court looks into it carefully and finds out it isn’t, in eighteen years of child protection work, I have NEVER seen a case where a parent is told by the Court, you can keep your child and you need never speak to a social worker again.

If you’re going to get your child back, social workers are going to be a part of your life.  So making social workers frightened of you, or not being able to work with you, or think that you’re a liar or unstable, isn’t going to help.

That’s not to say that you have to like them – or even be terribly nice to them. Your best approach is  “I know you’ve got a job to do, and I don’t like that you doing it has hurt my family, but I also know that I’ve got to show you that I can care for my children”

I’ve seen an awful lot of websites out there giving really really bad advice to parents in care proceedings, so I thought I’d have a crack at redressing the balance.

Here are some brief, practical, non “I’ll sue you for genocide” suggestions. Nobody can guarantee success in care proceedings, but you can make the central principle that the Court works to get children back home if at all possible work for you.  Nothing I’m suggesting here is beyond you, if you try and you ask for help when you need it.  It isn’t a guaranteed recipe of success, that’s up to you, but it certainly improves your chances.

1.  Work out a way of dealing with your social worker without shouting at them. I represented parents for a few years, and what I always told them was “you can call the social worker whatever you want in your bathroom, where nobody can hear you, but don’t say that stuff to the children, or the contact supervisors, or the social worker”    – don’t make it hard to be liked.   Being likeable doesn’t mean being a doormat, but being likeable is something you shouldn’t underestimate. It’s like chemistry.

2. All care proceedings are about giving something up. It’s unavoidable. If you hope to go into that final hearing and talk the Court into you letting you look after the children in exactly the same way as you’ve always done, you’re going to lose. Whether it is giving up drugs, alcohol, a relationship with someone violent, smacking the children, not doing housework, sleeping till two pm, you’re going to have to give up something.  Nearly all the time in court proceedings is spent with people either not accepting that they have to give something up, or pretending that they have given it up and catching them out.

If, instead, you approach it with the idea that “I want to change so that my children will be happier  or better looked after with me than they were” and try to change, you’re already in the top 5% of parents in care proceedings by that one simple decision.  And if you ask for help, and listen to the advice, you’re moving towards the top 2%.    Which means, when the Court is listening to your case, they are thinking “this mum/dad is so much better than the people we normally see”

3.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Honestly, everyone. When you make one, admit it and say that you want to learn from it, to do better in the future. Giving up things you’ve done for years isn’t easy, and you’re entitled to get help with that, and you’re allowed to say that some days it is hard, and some days you might need a bit more help than usual.

4. Turn up to all the contacts  – or at least, don’t miss contact unless you really have to, and tell people when you’re not going to come. When you’re at the contact, don’t be nasty about the foster carers to the children – the children need to know that even though you love them, it is okay for them to be with the foster carers and to like them and have a nice time.  If you can take something to contact that will be fun for the children, that goes down well. Don’t take loads of sweets and presents, some paper and crayons and spending time with the children works wonders. Get down on the floor and play with them.  Don’t promise the children bikes, or ponies, or x-boxes when they come home.  Don’t ask them to say that they love you and want to come home.

5. Nothing says “I’m a paranoid oddball who can’t be trusted” more than tape-recording every interaction you have.  It won’t be evidence anyway, and nobody will ever want to hear it. The only thing it does, is make everyone worry that you’re strange.

6. Get a good lawyer, and stay in touch with them.  There’s a balance, of course, between ringing them five times a day, and not talking to them for months at an end and not bothering to tell them that you’re back with so-and-so and pregnant.  If you tell them what’s happening, or particularly if you’re feeling like you might be about to make a big decision and you’re not sure if it is the right thing to do, they’ll be able to help you.  If they ask you to come in and see them, turn up. If they advise you to do something, it’s not because they’re mean, or nasty, it’s because they want to have the best possible chance at final hearing in getting you your children back. Give them some help.

Don’t believe any of the conspiracy nonsense that all parent lawyers are pawns of the Local Authority, or lazy or crooked;  some of them are smart, some are hardworking, some are inspirational, some work wonders – but no parent lawyer is ever, ever in the pocket of the Local Authority or doesn’t care about doing their best for you.

Private (Criminal) Prosecution as a LIP

Private (Criminal) Prosecution | Parent’s Rights Blog

How do I initiate a private criminal prosecution without a solicitor or the police?

Click here to read article directly from Towards Change – Parent’s Rights Blog

Please let April come home to us

METRO (Newspaper) Wednesday 3rd October, 2012

THE parents of missing five-year-old April Jones last night pleaded for her kidnapper to let her go.

Coral Jones, 40, and her husband Paul, 43, issued their heartfelt plea as police questioned a suspect over their daughter’s disappearance.

They said: ‘Last night our lives were shattered when our beautiful little girl, April, who was playing with friends, was taken from us.

‘We are devastated and our lives have stopped. Please, please if you have our little girl, let her come home to us.’

The appeal came hours after officers detained a 46-year-old man, thought to be Mark Bridger, as they patrolled the north of the Powys town of Machynlleth.

He was said to be a person they were looking for in connection with April’s disappearance on Monday evening. A vehicle, which he ‘had use of and which is of interest to the inquiry’, was also being examined by forensic officers last night.

Bridger was said to be well known in the town and to April’s family but was not a relative.

Det Supt Reg Bevan said officers were ‘hopeful the suspect will assist us in locating April’ and that the hunt was continuing ‘with the view that she is still alive’.

April was last seen getting willingly into a van while playing with friends near her home.

Hundreds of people joined the hunt for the five-year-old yesterday, while the armed forces and specialist teams equipped with thermal imaging cameras were drafted in.

Police are also checking for links to another attempted abduction in the area a week ago. They are investigating the movements of registered sex offenders living in the area.


Social Services’ Stamp feet over Subjective Storyline

Local Authority complain of the “unfair portrayal” of Staff in BBC’s Eastenders, as the soap depicts a Social Worker heartlessly snatching a baby from the arms of targeted teen mum – who was left helpless and emotionally crippled, while powerless in preventing her daughter from becoming the latest victim to our Draconian system. Continue reading

Don’t Fuck Up Your Children

Image of LJ Wall
Lord Justice Wall to Retire December 2012

In one of the sternest judicial warnings to warring parents I have come across, Lord Justice Wall (left) quoted from Philip Larkin in the case of R (A Child), Re [2009] EWCA Civ 358 yesterday. The case involved a highly acrimonious residence application, part of a dispute between the parents that had been on-going since they separated in 2003. Judge Everall QC at Luton County Court had found that it was no longer possible for the parents and the child to work together, and so made a residence order in favour of the paternal grandparents. The mother’s appeal against that order was granted but Lord Justice Wall in the Court of Appeal gave a warning to the parents of the serious harm that their actions were causing to their child. “I hope this case has given the mother a fright. I hope it has also given the father a fright.” He said. “They have come within a whisker of losing their child.” In a postscript to his judgment he then quoted from Larkin’s poem This Be The Verse:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.

They may not mean to, but they do.

They fill you with the faults they had

And add some extra, just for you.

These four lines” he said “seem to me to give a clear warning to parents who, post separation, continue to fight the battles of the past, and show each other no respect.”

Let us hope that more parents heed the warning.

Posted by John Bolch at 11:56 AM

Retirement of the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales

Menu | Home | News | Judicial appointments

Retirement of the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales
Friday, 28 September 2012

Sir Nicholas Wall will retire as the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales on 1 December 2012 on grounds of ill health.
Notes to editors

Sir Nicholas (Peter Rathbone) Wall (67) was called to the Bar (G) in 1969. He took silk in 1988 and became a Bencher in 1993. He was appointed an Assistant Recorder in 1988 and a Recorder in 1990. He was appointed a High Court Judge (Family Division) in 1993 and to the Court of Appeal and Privy Council in 2004.
He was a Judge of the Employment Appeal Tribunal from 2001 to 2003; a Judge of the Administrative Court from 2003 to 2004. He was a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Board on Family Law, 1997 to 2001 (Chairman of the Children Act Sub-Committee, 1998 to 2001). Sir Nicholas was appointed as the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice for England and Wales on 13 April 2010.

(to view this article directly from it’s source, please click the hyper-link below)

Doctor struck off for abusing boys

Wednesday September 26, 2012, [as reported] by TARIQ TAHIR

A FORMER doctor at Great Ormond Street children’s hospital has been struck off the medical register after being found guilty of molesting boys.

Prof Philipp Bonhoeffer was judged by a tribunal panel to have acted inappropriately towards children in Kenya and France.

He was dismissed by the London hospital in 2010.

A Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service panel yesterday ruled his fitness to practise was impaired by reason of misconduct and decided to strike his name from the register.

Bonhoeffer’s actions were ‘calculated, deplorable and an abuse of his special position of trust,’ the panel ruled.

The cardiologist sexually touched a boy in France in 1997 and abused youngsters for more than 15 years while carrying out medical work for a charity in Kenya, the panel heard. Bonhoeffer was employed by Great Ormond Street in 2001 as a consultant cardiologist. In 2002, he became head of cardiology until his dismissal.

Panel chairman David Kyle said: ‘Prof Bonhoeffer has been found to have persistently exploited vulnerable young boys over an extended period of time with sexual motivation.

‘The panel has concluded his conduct is not merely unacceptable — it is fundamentally incompatible with continued medical registration.’

The panel’s decision was welcomed by the General Medical Council.

The doctor did not attend the panel hearing in Manchester or submit any evidence, but a statement from his lawyers said he denied the allegations made against him.

It went on: ‘He has no intention of resuming the practice of medicine in the United Kingdom.’