About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Monday, 16 June 2008

News roundup

Apologies dear readers, every so often I disappear into a black hole of work and am all consumed by the trying business of cases being tried. So time for a catch up.

The DCSF has published its White Paper on Joint Birth Registration which is available here as a pdf file. The White Paper proposes that birth registration should be a legal requirement in England & Wales for unmarried fathers unless this is decided by the registrar to be impossible, impracticable or unreasonable. Mothers have a new right to insist that the unmarried father acknowledge his responsibilities to his child by registering on the birth certificate. Unmarried fathers will have a new right to insist that they are registered. In very difficult circumstances there is no compulsion on either parent to register but reasonable efforts are to be made to discover and register the father’s name, alongside the mother’s. A series of non-legislative measures to promote and support joint birth registration. These include a duty on maternity staff and registrars to engage with both parents on the subject of the father’s birth registration.

The DCSF has also announced that young people are to be given the chance to stay on in their foster families beyond the age of 18, thanks to a new £5 million Government pilot programme.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence has published a Resource guide on the children of prisoners: maintaining family ties .

The Law Commission has announced its intention to examine the question of the enforceability of marital agreements in property disputes & intestacy law. See also the Guardian's comments on pre-nuptial agreements and this story in the Times .

The Home Affairs select committee has published its report on Domestic Violence, Forced Marriage and Honour-Based Violence. Download the report in pdf format here . The Times also published a story on so-called honour violence .

The NSPCC has published its report concluding that Asian children's needs are being sidelined as cultural misunderstandings and 'political correctness' hinder the authorities from protecting them from the effects of domestic violence: see here .

The Children's Rights Alliance for England's submission to the UN Committee on the rights of the child makes 152 recommendations. The report is endorsed by over 100 non-governmental organisations. It is highly critical of the UK suggesting, for example, that over 30 pieces of legislation since 2002 breach the human rights of children. The summary is here as a pdf file. Recommendations include that a children's human rights unit should be established within DCSF.

Ryder J has spoken out about family justice and the courts being out of touch according to the Times . I will comment on this in more detail in a separate post.

A former foster parent has been jailed for 12 years for the abuse of three children according to the Mail .

The Mail also reports on a Catholic adoption agency said to be defying the law in relation to the potential placement of children with homosexual couples.

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