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UKIP: open up the family courts

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March 28, 2024

More media access to the Family Courts to prevent “outrageous injustices”, UKIP’s sole MP has insisted.

Speaking at the publication of a new policy paper, Clacton MP Douglas Carswell said the current system was a “scandal” and claimed the family courts acted “like a juggernaut [which] breaks up families”. He claimed that secrecy has led to “big cartel courts and the legal profession and the social workers riding roughshod against ordinary people”.

Mr Carswell wrote the policy paper along with Duncan Simpson, the deputy of director of the party’s parliamentary research unit. The paper proposed a number of changes to the family court system.

The media should be allowed much greater access to family court proceedings, the authors argued, and all judgments should be published unless the judge can get an order from the High Court which says otherwise.

In addition, Mr Carswell and Mr Simpson called for special guardianship orders to be used more often.

Mr Carswell admitted that it was not always “wrong for the state to forcefully break up a family”, but suggested that there has been some “outrageous injustices” perpetrated by a “big powerful system [which] is ignoring ordinary people”.

The UKIP MP cited a recent high-profile case of a couple whose child was adopted after they were falsely accused of abuse. “If our reforms had been in place that case could not have happened”, Mr Carswell claimed.

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  1. JamesB says:

    The are the only political party saying anything on the subject. They are for shared parenting and initial assumption of 50:50 also. That and this policy of theirs I agree with and are vote winners.

    The old parties need to consider their vested interests and old boy networks with lawyers as the (family law) system is an anachronism, not fit for purpose. Their old not listening approach like on Iraq and family law is losing them millions of votes and detaching them from the population they are supposed to server which is why UKIP are – rightly – coming out with these things.

    Must say I disagree with their policy on bringing back the eleven plus though. I would find trying to copy the toffs excruciatingly painful and think the class system is dead and buried and streaming is the answer rather than the 11 plus which is harking back to old order. I agree with Mick Hucknall of Simply Red and many others on that one.

  2. Laura says:

    Someone really needs to take the family courts to task! It’s a draconian outdated system that is destroying lives!!

  3. Yvie says:

    I voted UKIP this time solely on their commitment to 50/50 shared parenting as the presumption. All the political parties should be making strenuous efforts to ensure that fathers remain firmly in the lives of their children post-divorce. In the majority of cases that will most definitely be in the best interest of the children.

  4. Pete says:

    The family courts are open to the public in Australia. Any member of the public can walk in and view proceedings. Has it stopped horrific cases like those alluded to? Only the select few that are so extreme that they cause embarrassment. For the vast majority, it’s business as usual. Decisions That clearly destroy lives are justified in the name of preventing potential harm but seemingly archive the opposite quite efficiently.

  5. JamesB says:

    Respect to you (Yvie) for not falling Conservatives or Labour. I no longer regard them as worthy or knowing any better, indeed I think they are often worse, like on this and Iraq etc. than the rest of us. It is not good that the establishment have not resolved these family law issues in England and Wales. It says a lot about the inadequacies of the political systems and people we have that the politicians in power are impotent to lead and deal with this issue. Instead they walk around with their transparent silly smiles trying not to upset anyone making things worse and not helping.

  6. JamesB says:

    We need politicians who deal with these matters rather than ignoring them or going along with their friends in the (legal) profession for the status quo, which sucks completely. I agree with you Yvie.

  7. John says:

    This one is a good one for yous I am not allowed to see my kids 13 and 4 because I have ADHD ind no one wants to no am getting discriminated victimised defamation of character harassment bullying

  8. Deborah Pitt says:

    Christopher Booker has been writing for some years in the Sunday Telegraph on this and related issues. There is also a huge problem in divorce cases re fair access. Fathers4Justice…are they still around?

  9. Peter Jenkins says:

    It is hypocritical of David Cameron to lecture China on their human rights abuses, and not address the worst human rights abuses carried out in Britain under the guise of the Family Courts.
    Shame on you David Cameron. Address this inhumanity immediately.
    Until you do – you will never have my vote again – Conservatives.
    Your hypocrisy makes me puke.
    All getting rich off the selling of our children – evil scum.

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