According to the Telegraph, Jack Straw will announce next month changes to the family court system, to include more openness.
As I have blogged before these family courts are an abuse of justice. They take place behind closed doors, parents may not discuss the case with anyone, they have limited right of appeal. Probably well-meaning social workers are given far too much power, the slightest suspicions can lead to a child being taken into care, and all secretly, to ‘protect the identity of the children’.
Taking a child away from their parents is a drastic step. It will hurt most children, and a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach should not be adopted. Most of all, decisions taken in family courts must be open to the same scrutiny as any legal decision. This is the only way to ensure the powers of the state are not abused.
If Jack Straw makes the right changes, it is not before time.