Saturday, 8 January 2011

Relocation: The Case for Reform

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I've been busy!

On 9th November 2010, our new Parliamentary briefing report on Relocation: Child Welfare and the Case for Reform was launched at a seminar on relocation at the Palace of Westminster (click on the report title to download) to an audience of solicitors, barristers, psychiatrists, MPs and representatives of third sector organisations.

Also speaking were Dr Samantha Callan of the Centre for Social Justice, Dr Marilyn Freeman of Reunite, Craig Pickering of Families Need Fathers, and Ann Thomas, Managing Partner of the International Family Law Group.

You can read my speech here, which was reported in Family Law Week.

We also recommend you read the speech by Ann Thomas, managing partner of the International Family Law Group. 'Moving country but losing the child: Reform and Resolution of Child Relocation Law and Practice'. Ann Thomas is one of the UK's most respected international law practitioners. guardians who have had a child abducted or who fear child abduction. She is a past chair of the International Committee and a past member of the London Regional Committee of Resolution (formerly known as SFLA). Ann is former chair of the Family Law Steering group of LawNet and former President and founder of the Eurojuris International Family Lawyers Practice Group whose headquarters are in Brussels. She is a member of The International Bar Association and the Institute of Directors.

Extract 'How can we, in the English legal profession, have gone so wrong, have failed so many children, have inadvertently engaged in gender discrimination almost 2 generations, have fallen so out of step with many other countries and, most of all, failed to acknowledge trends in parenting patterns, especially in international families, over the past 40 years? The time has passed for tinkering around the edges of our law, of political deferences to legal precedents, awaiting for the Supreme Court to find a suitable test case and hoping international conventions will come to our aid. As Prof Marilyn Freeman has shown in her studies, as confirmed by those of Professors Patrick Parkinson and Judy Cashmore from the University of Sydney, the size of the problem is large and will only grow. The costs of the relocation litigation, costs of travel for contact in the cost to the lives of children demand a cost-effective solution.''