Sunday, May 31, 2009


I am indebted once again to John Hirst of Jailhouselawyer's Blog for bringing to my attention this story that appeared in the Sunday Times today. Apparently, a mother will lose all contact with her child, because the court considers that she is 'too stupid' to look after her. She is now taking her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

On the face of it, this appears to be an appalling decision, no doubt picked up with glee by the media in its continuing campaign to discredit the family justice system. However, I am sure that there is much more to this case than appears in the Sunday Times report. I am not saying that the court was justified in taking the action that it did (I have insufficient information to comment either way), just that sometimes its secrecy can work against the system. Perhaps it is time for a real opening up of the courts?


  1. I am particularly concerned about the lack of independent assessment in particular when the appointment of the Official Solicitor was made.

  2. Yes, there do on the face of it appear to be reasons for concern, but unless we know the full facts, we can only speculate.

  3. I think this is AWFUL. As a midwife I cared for many a mum with learning difficulties, mental health issues, or problems with substance abuse, but there was always enough of a road ahead to allow decent and proper assessment before an almost forced adoption was considered ( in fact, I only ever had my say in two cases of forced adoption, and although I agreed with it in the circumstances, I didnt feel particularly good about it, even though I knew the kids concerned would get a good and safe life...)

  4. Yes, it could be awful, depending upon the facts.

  5. It is awful. I have the facts.


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