‘One of Britain’s most senior judges vowed yesterday to expose family courts to ‘the glare of publicity’ after decades of obsessive secrecy. In a landmark ruling, Sir James Munby said parents of children taken into care must no longer be gagged by the courts and the public should be told what social workers are up to.
Sir James, who is president of the Family Division of the High Court, said the removal of children from their families had become the most drastic matter judges dealt with now there was no death penalty. He said the rulings could affect mothers for ‘upwards of 60 or even 70 years’ and children for even longer.
There was a ‘pressing need’ for the workings of the family courts to be opened to public view and the arguments for scrutiny and public accountability were compelling.’
New family court guidelines won’t improve a rotten system for children
By Christopher Booker who has been on the case of the family court scandal for many years.
Much of the ‘work’ of family courts today is nothing more than child-stealing by the state.
‘Far more important than this seemingly glaring contradiction, however, is that all Lord Justice Munby is saying is that the outside world should be allowed to see more judgments – still entirely at the discretion of the judge. To anyone familiar with the peculiar workings of these courts, this will leave 95 per cent of what is so shocking about what goes on in them as secret as ever.
Still completely hidden will be the way all the normal rules of British justice can be suspended: as in allowing judges to accept damning hearsay evidence, however absurd, without it being put to any proper test; as in how parents whose children have been taken from them are too often not allowed to challenge untruths or the tendentious opinions of “hired gun” psychologists, who may not even be qualified; as in how too many parents find themselves facing the cruellest ordeal of their lives being treated by judges and all present like criminals, without being given any proper opportunity to plead their case.
Almost nothing of the ruthlessly enforced blanket of secrecy that has allowed our family courts to become so corrupted will be affected in any way by Lord Justice Munby’s proposals.’