[back] Family Courts
[2011 April] Is shaken baby syndrome a myth?
[2009 July 17] A moving response to our family justice campaign by Camilla Cavendish
Family justice: your word against theirs by Two years ago, a group of MPs with falsely accused constituents asked the Government how many people nationally were accused of having MSbP. The Government replied that it did not collect such data - even though Department of Health guidelines tell charity workers, nursery nurses, teachers and even pharmacists to look out for the condition.
[2008 July 7] Family courts: the hidden untouchables byIt took a year for the police to interview Mason under caution, and another year for her to be tried. During that time her access to her children was tightly curtailed. At worst she was allowed only an hour and a half with them once a month. Eventually a jury unanimously found her not guilty of causing grevious bodily harm. But social workers stuck to their own “guilty” verdict. They pressed on and served adoption papers. It took another two years for her to get two of her children back, with the help of the doctor who had made the original diagnosis. But the middle child had been allowed to see so little of her that he is likely to be adopted rather than returned.
[2008 July 6 ] Family justice: the secret state that steals our children byShe described a world where courts need no criminal conviction to remove your child, only the word of a psychiatrist or doctor, and can deny you the chance to call any expert in your defence. A world that uses the “welfare of the child” to gag you from discussing your case. Where even if you prove yourself innocent on appeal, your children may already have been adopted: in which case you will never be allowed to contact them again. A world which had treated her so badly, this rather pretty and utterly normal young woman, that she was sincerely thanking me just for listening. .........Some of these children were being told that they were in care because their parents no longer wanted them. As soon as a care order is made, the local authority controls all communications between parents and children. In many cases contact is gradually reduced, sometimes from a few hours a week to an hour or so a
 The rank hypocrisy of family court judges by this peculiar case concerns a woman whose baby was removed by social workers, not because the child came to any harm but because there was a suspicion that her father might have injured a child from his previous marriage. That suspicion was never proven, no charges were ever brought and the child of the earlier marriage was never removed. But a woman who everyone agrees is blameless has lost her only child – for ever – because she is deemed to be besotted with a man who may pose a danger.
 Guilty until proved innocent: the grotesque reality of family courts by Camilla Cavendish Of the seven child abuse cases he has covered in the criminal courts over the past few years, all have ended in the quashing of convictions. Some of the defendants — Angela Cannings and Sally Clark — have become household names. But of the five cases he has covered in the family courts, all have ended in the parents losing their children for ever. You will probably never know the names of those people. Their names must be changed and their faces blocked out, to “protect” the children. It is hard to expose miscarriages of justice when the stories are drained of human content.