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Children taken into care should know why, Family Division President declares

Children who are taken into care and separated from their families must be able to see the court judgements when they are adults, the President of the Family Division has declared.

Speaking to the House of Commons Justice Committee, Sir James Munby said failure to routinely publish care proceedings was a “major issue” for children who would be affected by the decision for the rest of their lives.

A “definitive record” was vital, said the President, in order to ensure that:

“…in future years: five years, ten years, twenty years, thirty years or fifty years into the future, a child who may, for example, be subject of adoption proceedings, is able to see what the judge actually said.”

Sir James added:

“My focus immediately is on transparency, disclosure into the public arena but there is an equally important need for the judgements to be made available for the families. That of course has cost implications.”

In January the President issued practice guidance for the family courts stating that judgements should be routinely published.

Sir James told the Committee that this had had a “visible effect” but had  been “merely a start” and he planned to further increase transparency in the family courts, ensuring that more judgements must be published and extending requirements for transparency beyond the High Court.

The blog team at Stowe is a group of writers based across our family law offices who share their advice on the wellbeing and emotional aspects of divorce or separation from personal experience. As well as pieces from our family law solicitors, guest contributors also regularly contribute to share their knowledge.

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  1. Caz says:

    Some Judgements are annoymous to protect the name of the child in which the proceedings are made, in my Grandsons case that is published (probably one of the first ever to be published) the name in which the judgement was made is on a seperate High Court of Appeal Certificate, which is not published and the childs name is not the name on his birth certificate, nor a name he was registered at the hospital and has no medical evidence to support my Grandson ever having recieved any of the injuries stated, but they do have evidence of traumatic birth that caused brain damage named Cerebral Atrophy, nor a name used in a prior investigation by Cleveland Police, that concluded in NO INJURIES, UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE, The only way to rectify this injustice is to publish the 2 prior judgements, that do state the FALSE name,if this judge is truly committed to an adoptive child finding out the truth.
    After the last court we were informed by the solicitor the only way my Grandson could be adopted was an appeal to change the False name back into my Grandsons birth certified name , we wrongly thought if we appealed and had his name changed back to his birth certified name we would get him back, and could not understand that the judges stating they were doing us a favour by joining the split case together under the FALSE name and there was no appeal against it, the Local Authority illegally changed the name on the Full Care Order and went on to adopt him

  2. Caz says:

    With reference to above
    1. Within the family law system Are the local authority legally allowed to knowingly change the childs name
    2, After a High Court desicion that there is no Appeal to change the false name and the split case is joined, Can the local authority legally change the name back to childs birth certified name and use one half of the case for adoption

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