Monday, November 13, 2006

Beware simplistic mantras

Women's Aid and Fathers 4 Justice are two organisations that I have mentioned previously on this blog. In an article in this month's Family Law, Gwynn Davis (previously the author of the apparently now defunct Last Word column in Family Law - see here) discusses the May 2006 session of the House of Commons Select Committee on the topic of 'the family courts', or more specifically the courts' role in private law children disputes. He says that whilst neither Women's Aid nor Fathers 4 Justice were actually represented at the session, "both were present in spirit", with questions put by two MPs reflecting "what have become recurring themes in almost any discussion of private children law cases". He then says:
One might almost be led to the view that, when it comes to post-separation arrangements for children, there are just two clouds on the horizon - either you may have a violent man or an obstructive woman. For the discussion to be framed in these terms, even when the group in question is not represented directly, demonstrates the destructive power of pressure groups and their simplistic mantras.

Strong words. I'm not sure that I am entirely comfortable with lumping these two groups together, but I certainly agree that we must not fall into the trap that so many politicians seem to fall into of making new law on the basis of who shouts loudest, without looking at the whole picture.


  1. What new laws?

    Nothing in the Queen's speech.

    The Children and Adoption Act has been locked up in a darkened room and will never again see the light of day.

    The 'consultation' on opening up the Family Courts to public scrutiny is just smoke and mirrors.

    And we are hoarse with shouting.

  2. You wouldn't be a member of Fathers 4 Justice by any chance, would you?


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