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.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Baroness Hale on diverse standards of parenting

Baroness Hale of Richmond in In re: B (Children) (Care Proceedings: Standard of Proof) (CAFCASS Intervening) [2008] UKHL 35, [2009] 1 A.C. 11:

“My Lords, taking a child away from her family is a momentous step, not only for her, but for her whole family, and for the local authority which does so. In a totalitarian society, uniformity and conformity are valued. Hence the totalitarian state tries to separate the child from her family and mould her to its own design. Families in all their subversive variety are the breeding ground of diversity and individuality. In a free and democratic society we value diversity and individuality. Hence the family is given special protection in all the modern human rights instruments including the European Convention on Human Rights (Article 8), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 23) and throughout the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. As McReynolds J famously said in Pierce v Society of Sisters (1925) 268 US 510, 535, “The child is not the mere creature of the State.”

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