More open justice for families in the courts

More open justice for families in the courts

Family courts are to be opened up to public scrutiny in response to mounting criticism from parents whose children are taken into care that they are victims of “secret justice”.

Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, plans to announce the change next month to create more transparency in the family justice system while seeking to protect the welfare of the child, The Times has learnt.

The move to open family courts to the media, which is supported by most judges but opposed by many social workers who present applications for care proceedings to courts, follows growing controversy over their decisions and the way that they operate.

Read more on this story in The Times

Girls aged 12 could get abortion drugs without parents’ consent

Schoolgirls could be given drugs to carry out unsupervised abortions at home under controversial plans to be voted on by MPs.

Girls as young as 12 would be handed tablets to terminate unwanted babies without their parents’ consent.

Read more on this story in The Daily Mail

Gun offences ignored in stats

GUN crime figures are a sham — with almost a third of offences omitted from Government data, it emerged yesterday.

A staggering 5,600 firearms crimes were left out of Home Office statistics last year, official police records show.

Read more on this story in The Sun

Omega 6 acid linked to risk of Alzheimer’s

A fatty acid, an ingredient found in foods considered healthy, could harm brain cells and raise the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease, researchers said yesterday.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

Drug unit ‘luxuries’ under fire

A publicly funded centre for drug addicts in Lancashire was criticised yesterday for having an in-house beauty parlour that allows users to give each other haircuts, massages and manicures.

The Evolve centre in Blackburn, which opened this week, caters for recovering or “stabilised” substance abusers.

Read more on this story in The Guardian

A secret state is operating in which families are being torn apart

I began writing about parents whose children were being removed by social workers after two chance meetings. One was with a couple who had taken their daughter to A&E with a leg injury, only to have both their children forcibly removed into care and returned only after a legal battle. The other was with a mother whose daughter had said that Daddy, who never lived with them, was touching her in bad places.

Read more on this story in The Times

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