Tuesday, June 19, 2012

News Update: 19th June 2012

WELCOME to the second Family Lore News Update. Other than the items I've already posted about, here are some of the things that have caught my eye since the last update:

Fathers could be forced to be named on birth certificates
Fathers could be forced by law to be named on their baby’s birth certificate under plans being drawn up by ministers to boost their role in family life. The latest idea from the Government aimed at promoting fathers' feelings of responsibility for their children. I'm not sure that this would do much to change the attitude of feckless fathers, or indeed how you go about forcing them, but there you go. Full story: The Telegraph.

Family lawyers express doubts over MoJ's plans for statutory presumption
Family lawyers have expressed doubts about Ministry of Justice (MoJ) proposals to introduce a statutory presumption of shared parenting. Full story: New Law Journal.

On the same subject:

Children’s Minister clarifies nature of proposals for shared parenting after divorce
Minister writes to The Times to deny the creation of ‘right of artificial equality of time’. Full story: Family Law Week.

For what it's worth, I'm not sure that any of the Government's co-parenting options are likely to have much if any bearing upon outcomes, and could just make things worse, by reducing the number of cases that are agreed and increasing the number of court decisions that are challenged.

Re E (Medical treatment: Anorexia) [2012] EWHC 1639 (COP) (15 June 2012)
Woman suffering from severe anorexia and close to death. Application by local authority regarding her medical treatment. Held that she lacked capacity to make a decision about life-sustaining treatment and declared that it was in her best interests to be fed against her wishes. As mentioned by ObiterJ in this post, this case includes the very memorable quote by Mr Justice Peter Jackson (at paragraph 137):
"We only live once – we are born once and we die once – and the difference between life and death is the biggest difference we know."
Full report: Bailii.

Children: Public Law Update (June 2012)
John Tughan of 4 Paper Buildings, reviews some recent important judgments concerning children public law matters. Full article: Family Law Week.

A Dad is for life, not just for Xmas
Baroness Deech gives her take on the Government's co-parenting consultation, which she says "misses the point". "The genuine scandal", she says, "is that fathers, in situations where the mother has no objection to their contact with the children, fail to exercise those rights." Hmm, I suspect the odd fathers' rights group might have something to say about that... Full post: Lords of the Blog.

Help, it’s the care-hair bunch!
Meanwhile, suesspiciousminds (in my ignorance I assumed that susspiciousminds was a woman by the name of 'Sue', until I learned better) asks whether hair-strand tests for alcohol and drug misuse are sufficiently accurate for the court to rely on. Full post: suesspiciousminds.


  1. Northern Lights19 June 2012 at 22:18


    I agree that little of substance is likely to change with the proposed changes to legislation but doubt it will do much harm either, other than an initial surge in litigation by fathers (and a few non resident mothers) eager to apply a weasel worded politician’s promise to their own case. Probably to no avail.

    I don’t know if you’ve seen Stephen Twist’s guest post on Pink Tape? It’s called “Party animals” and he has proposed something as radical as it is obvious. Strangely, given that it pretty much advocates the removal of lawyers from proceedings, the crew who invaded Lucy’s post on shared parenting have ignored it and only a couple of posters (myself included) have responded.

    I did like the pithy quote from Jackson; clearly not a Hindu or Buddhist, then.

    1. Yes, I did read Stephen Twist's post on Pink Tape (I mentioned it in my first News Update) - interesting stuff.

  2. John, Terms like Feckless Fathers and Angel Mothers do indicate your (rather shallow and unhelpful) position on this subject. Also the Nations sweatheart, etc. Unless of course it was just a provocative, simplify and exaggerate, journalistic (at the mass market end) type comment. Perhaps you have become a journalist.


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