Weblog archive for January 2004

1st January 2004

Catch 22 in the Family Courts

Until family courts become more open & accountable, they will be subject to suspicion and hostility. And quite right.

... the system for determining contact with children and custody is failing, leaving access rows between divorced or separated parents unresolved. 

David Burrows, chairman of the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA)

... ministers were "apparently deaf" to recommendations that came after an inquiry into the system chaired by Mr Justice Nicholas Wall, almost two years ago. Family courts are failing the children and their parents which they are set up to serve. Proceedings start in an ill-co-ordinated way: there is no consistent procedure around the country. There is no clear view about the extent to which mature children should be involved in proceedings or at court. 

David Burrows, chairman of the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA)

All except the first link below demonstrate a Catch 22 faced by many "absent" parents, especially fathers. His attempts to gain more access to the children were treated as a negative sign, causing him to be denied access. What should he have done? Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.

2nd January 2004

MBE for CSA Higher Executive Officer

This has been awarded to Mrs Enid Spellman, retired Higher Executive Office 30 June, 2005

14th January 2004

Some sense from a senior Catholic on condoms

When someone is HIV positive and his partner says 'I want to have sexual relations with you', he doesn't have to do that, if you ask me. But, when he does, he has to use a condom. 

Cardinal Godfried Danneels

A Belgian cardinal, who is among the leading candidates to succeed Pope John Paul, yesterday broke the Roman Catholic church's taboo on the use of condoms, declaring that, in certain circumstances, they should be used to prevent the spread of Aids.... But he added that if someone who was HIV-positive did have sex, failing to use a condom would be sinful - a contravention of the sixth commandment: thou shalt not kill.

16th January 2004

Woman wins right to appeal frozen embryo ban

This is bad news. Natallie Evans has won the right to appeal against the ruling, in a landmark case over rights to use stored embryos.

The law is absolutely clear. The permission of both partners is needed. She shouldn't have a case. But if she succeeds, this could make the ex-partner responsible for child support for up to 18 years! Let's hope her appeal fails.

17th January 2004

Accessibility improvements to the CSA web site

This Blog reported on 15th September 2003 that the "new scheme" section of the child support agency web site had been updated to improve accessibility to people with various disadvantages. Now the "old scheme" section has been upgraded to the same standard.

As well as this upgrade, the links to pages on the "new scheme" web site have changed. This Child Support Analysis web site now uses the new links.

31st January 2004

A mixed month

Will they, won't they, strike? We'll have to wait and see if CSA staff strike during February.

How many cases of mis-justice leading to the separation of parents & children will get sorted out? All of the many 100s? Or just a few? We will have to wait and see. From past experience, many of those parents will never see their children again.

Will the CSA get its act together with its computer system? There is no evidence yet that its troubles are behind it.

I intent to post a series of Blogs on the topic of "The junk science that separates families". This isn't just about the recent Meadows cases. It also includes such episodes as unproved cases of child abuse, including satanic abuse, and "false memory syndrome". These all add up to the use of uncritical thinking to separate one or both parents from their children. I hope to do this during February.

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