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Grandparents: Legal Rights - Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 11:29 am on 10th May 2018.

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Photo of Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames Lord Marks of Henley-on-Thames Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Justice) 11:29 am, 10th May 2018

My Lords, is there really a justification for the two-stage process whereby grandparents have to apply for the right to make an application for a contact order and there is then a filtering system? Would it not be much easier for there to be a single application for a contact order with a filter system for non-parents built into that application, thus saving grandparents a great deal of time and trouble—all, as the noble Lord, Lord Beecham, points out, without the benefit of legal aid under the current arrangements, which require there to have been domestic violence or abuse?