1:- Statements from the local authority are shown to the judge but rarely to parents.Family and friends of parents are routinely excluded from the court but groups of social workers are allowed to stay in the court to listen to their colleague’s testimony whether they are witnesses or not.
2:- Parents representing themselves are denied the opportunity to cross examine witnesses appearing against them. Judgements, reports from experts,and position statements are either with held or given to parents at the last minute (too late to read and analyse them properly).
3:- Parents are routinely refused permission to call for a second opinion when “experts” and Doctors have testified against them.If parents record contacts with their children, or interviews with experts or social workers judges routinely refuse permission for these recordings to be heard yet they always allow recordings and video evidence to be heard if produced by police or social workers.
4:-Parents whose children have been taken are routinely and wrongly told that they may not talk to ANYONE about their case.
5:-Parents are threatened with jail if they protest publicly when their children are taken.They are also jailed for “breach of the peace” or “harassment” if they dare to trace and then contact their own children after adoption.Parents are therefore” twice gagged” contrary to the Human Rights Act ,Article 10 entitling all persons “freedom of expression”,ie freedom of speech.
6:-Local authority barristers in court often read out statements from absent persons as though they are themselves witnesses but they cannot be questioned.
7:- Most solicitors refuse to let their clients speak and then agree to all care orders demanded by social services.They tell the hapless parents “it is better not to oppose the interim care order ,but to wait for the final hearing”,ignoring the position set out below (in red) where L.J.Thorpe makes it very clear that the parents are so prejudiced by the proceedings thereafter that it is “very difficult to get a child back” after a removal hearing.
8:-Judges routinely castigate parents who wish to speak or who represent themselves even though they have the right to do so;Their evidence and their arguments are usually ignored in the judgements.
9;-Parents representing themselves are often given an hour or two’s notice to appear in court but solicitors are given weeks !
10:-Parents are punished for “risk” i’e not what they have done but for what they might do in the future! “Risk of emotional abuse” is favourite because there is no legal definition of this and it is usually impossible for parents to defend themselves against “predictions” by so called “experts” who are often unqualified (20% according to the latest report by professor Ireland commissioned by the government!)
11:-Judges give social workers the power to withhold parent’s contact with their children” in care” as a punishment for saying they love them and miss them or that they are fighting to get them back .Foreign children are forbidden to speak their own language with their parents or relatives,mobile phones are confiscated,and children in care are denied the basic rights accorded to murderers and rapists in prison!They use this power to gag parents and force them into complete submission !
12:-Parents are in effect condemned for offences against their children on “probabilities” 51% instead of beyond reasonable doubt.They can be acquitted in the high court and,the appeal court,and even when all charges have been dropped by the police social services can over rule all those bodies and condemn parents on 51% probability (nearly half the time they could be wrong!) and take their children into care with a view to forced adoption.
13:-Parents who were themselves in care or who were abused in childhood are often judged unfit to be parents as a result.Their past misdemeanors such as shoplifting,or destruction of property (often 10 years ago or more)
are inevitably used against them during proceedings in court to prove them unfit parents.This would be illegal in a criminal court.
14:-Parents often forfeit their children for “failing to engage with professionals”The very persons who tell them and their neighbours that the children will never be returned !
15:-Parents faced with forced adoption lose their children for life, without being allowed a hearing by jury.
16:-Under the UN Convention on children’s rights,and a recent Supreme Court case (W a child), children have a RIGHT to be heard in court but are usually denied that right.
17:-Solicitors routinely tell client parents to agree to interim care orders or they risk never seeing their children again.A lie !
18:-Social workers are legally obliged to place children with relatives if possible but either ignore this or find pretexts to fail them on assessments
19:-Human rights to free speech and freedom of movement are breached by gagging orders, confiscating passports,and even “prohibited steps” that limit parent’s movements and can force them to remain in the same flat or house indefinitely !
20:-The Children Act specifically instructs social workers to reunite families wherever possible and to place children removed from their parents with relatives.In practice couples are urged to separate,to quit their jobs and go on benefits so as to keep awkward contact times with their children and to be free to meet social workers etc for meetings whenever summoned to do so.Relatives such a grandparents,aunts,and uncles are set aside to be “assessed” and are more often than not failed on the grounds that they are too friendly with the parents or maybe had a difficult past 10 years ago or more simply that they are too old in their forties or fifties even though this does not apply to foster carers.Theory and practice are a long way apart in our family courts;