How judges trample on the rights of children – by Ian Josephs, former Councillor in Kent who publishes Forced Adoption
It is not often that we hear a great truth being uttered on the Today programme, any more than we are likely hear two of its guests in full agreement (except of course about global warming). But last Thursday there was a fascinating discussion between Jack Straw and a spokesman for the insurance industry about the racket built up on compensation claims for non-existent “whiplash” injuries, which account for 70 per cent of all personal injury claims and cost us more than 20 per cent of what we all pay for car insurance.
Straw said of this scam, which enriches lawyers and insurers to the tune of £2 billion a year: “In a dysfunctional system, everybody behaves badly.” And this was echoed by the insurance man, who said: “In a dysfunctional system, people behave in a dysfunctional way.”
There could be no better example of this general truth than the workings of our “child protection system”, which has become so corrupted that many of those involved in it – from social workers to lawyers and judges – now behave dysfunctionally, in ways which make a complete mockery of its declared purpose.
A recent illustration of this is the new guidance issued by the Family Justice Council, introduced by Lord Justice Wall, head of the Family Division, on the right of children to give evidence in court proceedings to decide their future. On the face of it, this report might seem admirable, in stating that, where appropriate, children such as those who have been removed from their parents by social workers should be allowed to express to a court their wishes as to what should happen to them. In fact there is nothing new about this.
The right of children to testify in such cases is already the law of the land under the 1989 Children Act; it is enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child; and it was further upheld in 2010 by the Supreme Court. But anyone familiar with what goes on behind that wall of secrecy with which our family courts protect themselves will know that the gap between theory and practice is all but total.
In the past year, I have been following six cases where children between the ages of 11 and 16 have repeatedly requested to explain to a court why they wish to be returned to the parents from whom they have been removed. In every case, the social workers, guardians, lawyers and judges appear to have done all they could to deny the children that right.
I have advised thousands of parents and children via my Forced Adoption website, have come across countless similar cases. The exceptions seem only to be those where younger children are allowed to give evidence because they are prepared to say what the social workers want them to say, namely that they do not wish to be returned to their parents.
The fact is that when a system goes off the rails, it doesn’t just stay there. It goes ever further off the rails. As Straw said, “in a dysfunctional system, everybody behaves badly”. And what applies to the whiplash scam applies much more tragically to the far greater scandal whereby the state and the courts betray those children who are now being snatched from their parents by social workers at an all-time record rate of nearly 900 a month – far too many of them for no good reason at all.
PS. 900 snatched by 433 councils (353 in England, 22 in Wales, 32 in Scotland and 26 in Northern Ireland) means 2 per council per month.
- The Tragedies of Cornel Brown & Nicola Thatcher – video on children abused by Social Workers (gloriamusa.wordpress.com)
- Children are taken away – but the system can’t admit it’s wrong (victims-unite.net)
- Do these children look as if they need the ‘care’ and ‘protection’ of Haringey Council? (gloriamusa.wordpress.com)
- Forced Adoption and Total Secrecy in the Family Courts – an Edge Media Video (gloriamusa.wordpress.com)