Family Courts

Justice written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Jim Cunningham Jim Cunningham PPS (Mr Mike O'Brien, Minister of State), Department for Work and Pensions

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what steps he has taken to improve the procedures of family courts.

Photo of Bridget Prentice Bridget Prentice Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Ministry of Justice

The new Family Procedure Rules will make court procedures easier to use and understand. They will provide a modernised and simply expressed code of practice for all levels of court. A significant first segment, the Family Procedure (Adoption) Rules, was made in October 2005. The Department and the Family Procedure Rule Committee are now completing the task for all family proceedings.

Court procedures have also been recently improved in domestic violence and care proceedings cases. On 1 April 2008, the judicially led Public Law Outline came into force, streamlining the care proceedings process and contributing to a reduction in unnecessary delay. In May 2008 a new practice direction changed current procedures in private law proceedings to give better protection for children in cases where domestic violence has been raised as an issue.

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barbara richards
Posted on 17 Jul 2008 11:02 am (Report this annotation)

As I have said, repeatedly, and will go on saying until I get an answer, I would like to know how the government can justify the inclusion in the 2005 Government consultation document Family Justice - the operation of the family court of a syndrome that has not only been rejected by the World Health Organisation but was written by a psychologist who openly and unashamedly defended pedophilia.

I will go on asking this question, be it a million times, until I get an answer. I will go on asking this same question because as long as this Parental Alienation Syndrome is used by the secret family courts children are being put at risk. This syndrome is causing complaints of abuse made by children to be dismissed as the other parent's spiteful maliciousness by their abusers and in this way the children are being forced into visitation with child abusers. This syndrome takes away the voice of the child and leaves them with no-owhere to turn to. Will you stop allowing the gagging of these children? When are the children going to have a voice? You are going to reap the results of this, we all are, in the form of some very angry grown ups who were abused repeatedly as children by people they were forced to visit. It is a ticking time bomb for the whole of our society, and you have the power to prevent it, Bridget Prentice.