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CAFCASS and the Judiciary -Unhealthy alliances-. "Blackstones" Constitutional law and human rights volume 8 on Judicial functions states The principal functions of the judiciary may be described, in part as follows:

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CAFCASS and the Judiciary-Unhealthy alliances-

"Blackstones" Constitutional law and human rights volume 8 on Judicial functions states The principal functions of the judiciary may be described, in part as follows:

  • To provide for the orderly resolution of disputes, whether between private individuals or bodies, or involving public bodies or the exercise of public or governmental functions by public or private bodies;

  • To uphold the principle of legality or the rule of law;

  • To protect the individual against unlawful state activity;

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Children’s wishes and feelings

The first question is how is this assessed?

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Lillie and Reed v Newcastle City Council

  • In Lillie and Reed v Newcastle City Council, a libel case heard in open Court at paragraph 405 it is stated:

  • Young children are suggestible.

  • Great care is required in analysing and assessing the weight to be given to statements from young children.

  • It is important to take into account the context of any such statement and how it was elicited (for example, whether any pressures, rewards or leading questions were used).

  • It is necessary to focus also on the wider circumstances of the child’s life in the period leading up to any such "disclosure" that might explain or colour what the child is saying.

  • It is vital to take into account delay between any event recounted and the statement itself.

  • One should take into account carefully any bias or pre-conceived ideas in the mind of an interviewer.

  • It is desirable to have in mind throughout any scope for contamination by statements from others, whether children or adults.

  • Similarities between what one child is saying and the statements of another may be two-edged, in the sense that they might tend to corroborate one another’s accuracy or merely reflect a common source.

  • One should be wary of interpreting childish references to behaviour, or parts of the body, through the distorting gauze of adult learning or reading

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  • In paragraph 408; At the risk of over-simplification, it is possible to highlight some

  • of the propositions thrown up by the research that need to be addressed. ...It is

  • important, first, to recognise that, although such obvious factors as leading

  • questions, repetition, pressure, threats, rewards and negative stereotyping

  • can fundamentally undermine the evidential worth of a child’s account, it may

  • well be that a child will tailor his or her account in response to more subtle

  • and less easily detected influences.

  • In particular, there is (or may be) a tendency to say what the child perceives the

  • questioner would like to hear. Moreover, it may not be as easy to spot that a child

  • is adopting such an approach, as it would be to identify a leading question.

  • What had, I believe, not been generally appreciated prior to the recent research

  • was that children do not merely parrot what has been suggested to them but will

  • embellish or overlay a particular general theme with apparently convincing detail.

  • This can be very difficult to detect, even for those who are experienced in dealing

  • with children.

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ECtHR guidance possible to highlight some

In Sommerfeld v Germany 2003 it states:

42. ‘‘it must determine whether, having regard to the particular circumstances of the case and notably the importance of the decisions to be taken, the applicant has been involved in the decision-making process, seen as a whole, to a degree sufficient to provide him with the requisite protection of his interests.

43. ..Correct and complete information on the child’s relationship with the applicant as the parent seeking access to the child is an indispensable prerequisite for establishing a child’s true wishes and thereby striking a fair balance between the interests at stake.

44. In the Court’s opinion, the German courts’ failure to order a psychological report on the possibilities of establishing contacts between the child and the applicant reveals an insufficient involvement of the applicant in the decision-making process. ’’

In the case of CASE OF GÖRGÜLÜ v. GERMANY (Application no. 74969/01) 26 February 2004 it is stated that ‘‘Although the essential object of Article 8 is to protect the individual against arbitrary action by the public authorities, there may in addition be positive obligations inherent in an effective “respect” for family life. Thus, where the existence of a family tie has been established, the State must in principle act in a manner calculated to enable that tie to be developed and take measures that will enable parent and child to be reunited

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And in the UK? possible to highlight some

In Re N Ward L.J. expressed agreement with a passage in the judgment of Wall J in Re and B ( Minors) (No.1) (Investigation of Alleged Abuse) [1995] 3 F.C.R. 389,409:

"From a forensic view point para. 12.35 of the [Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland (1987) (Cm 412) the unsuitability of having a parent present at an interview] remains a correct statement of the proper practice, particularly in a case where the only evidence of abuse up to the date of the first interview was what the mother has said the child has said to her. Quite apart from any pressure which the mother’s presence may place on the child, the golden rule is that each interview is to be approached with an open mind: such a rule is in my view immediately broken if the mother is present at the interview".

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Psychiatrists? possible to highlight some

  • In the words of Morritt L.J. In Re F.S. (Minors) (Care Proceedings) [1996] 1 F.C.R. 667, 676-677:

  • "The use of child psychiatrists is obviously of the greatest assistance to the court in many cases. In some instances that will extend to pointing out features of the child’s evidence which tend either to support or undermine its credibility.

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Criminal proceedings? possible to highlight some

  • In T. v U.K. (16 December 1999) and V. v U.K. (16 December 1999), cases concerning murder charges against very young children, the Court noted that Article 6 , read as a whole guarantees the right of an accused to participate effectively in the trial. The Court noted

    • “The formality and ritual of the Crown Court must at times have seemed incomprehensible and intimidating for a child of eleven … the applicant states that he was unable to follow the trial or take decisions in his own best interests.” (para. 86, T. v U.K.)

  • Importantly the Court added “… the Court does not consider that it was sufficient for the purpose of Article 6(1) that the applicant was represented by skilled and experienced lawyers.” (para.88, T. v U.K.).

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Parenthood? possible to highlight some

Yet in many cases known of children’s wishes and feelings are ignored even to the extent when a child has to run away or suffers harm. There are also cases where when it goes against the wishes of the Court the children’s wishes and feelings are totally ignored.

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Parental Alienation Syndrome possible to highlight some

(Excerpt taken from Kilgore v. Boyd, Circuit Court of the 13th Judicial Circuit of the State of Florida, Hillsborough County, Family Law Division. Case no. 94-7573, Div. D)

THE COURT: ... If I do have to apply a Frye test he has passed the Frye test. And I find that parental alienation syndrome has passed the Frye test in my courtroom, which is a Circuit Court Courtroom in the Family Law division, based on the evidence and the argument before me. The evidence and the argument before me, the testimony and the CV of Dr. Gardner, together with an excerpt of his writings. There was also proffered an article from the Florida Bar Journal which, quite frankly, I read when it came out and at the time I read it I placed some credibility in it.

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Dr. Gardner possible to highlight some

  • Richard A. Gardner, M.D. Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)

    • "This condition arises as a distinctive form of psychological injury to children in high conflict divorce. It occurs when the child becomes aligned with one parent as a result of the unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other parent. This leads to an impaired relationship with the alienated (target) parent and an absolute loss of parenting as a result of the hostility of the parent producing the alienation. In most cases of high conflict divorce, there are degrees of alienation. In severe cases, the child's once love-bonded relationship with the target/rejected parent is destroyed."

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PAS criteria possible to highlight some

PAS is characterised by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:

1. A campaign of denigration

2. Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation

3. Lack of ambivalence

4. The independent-thinker phenomenon

5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict

6. Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent

7. The presence of borrowed scenarios

8. Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.

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LEGAL CITATIONS possible to highlight some

Coursey v. Superior (Coursey), 194 Cal.App.3d 147,239 Cal.Rptr. 365 (Cal.App. 3 Dist., Aug 18, 1987. The Court finds that the mother, Loretta Coursey, has induced such animosity of their daughter toward their father, Eugene Coursey, that the child now suffers with parental alienation syndrome, and refuses to visit her father. The Court, therefore, fines the mother $500 and sentences her to five (5) days in jail. The order, however, is stayed as long a the mother successfully completes scheduled visitations of their daughter with the father. The Co urt also orders Loretta Coursey to pay Eugene Coursey $1,000 for attorney fees. (COURSEY V. COURSEY Sutter County Superior Court (California) No. 33254 August 18,1987)1988

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Poisoning children possible to highlight some

Schultz v. Schultz, 522 So.2d 874, 13 Fla L. Weekly 387 (Fla. App. 3 Dist., Feb 09, 1988). Reference is made here to the parental alienation syndrome and the inculcation of the children's alienation by the mother. The Court threatened "the severest penalties this Court can impose, including contempt, imprisonment, loss of residential custody, or any combination thereof if the mother did not comply with this Court's order to cease and desist from her "slowly dripping poison into the minds of the children" rather than to instill love and respect for the father.On appeal the Florida Third District Appeals Court ruled that the Judge had acted properly and that there were no grounds for the mother's appeal. (SCHUTZ V. SCHUTZ, 467 So. 2nd 407 Fla. 4th DCA 1985)1989

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Parental fitness possible to highlight some

  • Krebsbach v. Gallagher, Supreme Court, App. Div., 181 A.D.2d 363; 587 N.Y.S. 2d 346, (1992). “Interference with the relationship between a child and a non-custodial parent by the custodial parent is an act so inconsistent with the best interests of the child as to per se raise a strong probability that the offending party is unfit to act as a custodial parent” (Leistner v Leistner, 137 A.D.2d 499, 524 N.Y.S.2d 243; see also, Matter of Krebsbach v Gallagher, 181 A.D.2d 363, 366, 587 N.Y.S.2d 346) 1993 1994

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Best interests possible to highlight some

“Best interests of child lie in his being nurtured and guided by both natural parents. TWERSKY V. TWERSKY, (2 Dept 1984) 103 A.D. 2d 775, 477 N.Y.S. 2d 409

“Visitation is not only a joint right of a parent and child, but it is also in the best interests of child to have a meaningful relationship with his or her father.LYNG V. LYNG, (4 Dept 1985) 112 A.D. 2d 29, 490 N.Y.S. 2d 940

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Change of residence? possible to highlight some

“Change of child custody is appropriate if the custodial parent’s conduct deliberately frustrates, denies, or interferes with the other parents visitation rights.” VICTOR L. V. DARLENE L. (1 Dept 1998) ___ A.D. 2d ___, 674 N.Y.S. 2d 371 (emphasis added).

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MMPi 2 testing possible to highlight some


MMPI-2 validity scales of two groups of parents going through child custody evaluations, parents who engage in parental alienation syndrome (PAS) behaviors and parents who do not, were compared. It was hypothesized that PAS parents would have significantly higher L and K scales and a significantly lower F scale than parents who do not engage in these behaviors.

The hypothesis was confirmed for K and F scales, indicating that PAS parents are more likely to complete MMPI-2 questions in a defensive manner, striving to appear as flawless as possible. It was concluded that parents who engage in alienating behaviors are more likely than other parents to use the psychological defenses of denial and projection, which are associated with this validity scale pattern. Implications of this finding regarding possible personality disorders in PAS parents are discussed.

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Judicial view of fathers? possible to highlight some

Hon. Richard HunterFormer chief judge of the King's County (Brooklyn) Family Court. He was a prominent member of the New York State Commission on Child SupportJudge Hunter on fathers, he said:

"You have never seen a bigger pain in the ass than the father who wants to get involved; he can be repulsive. He wants to meet the kid after school at three o'clock, take the kid out to dinner during the week, have the kid on his own birthday, talk to the kid on the phone every evening, go to every open school night, take the kid away for a whole weekend so they can be alone together. This type of father is pathological."

Quoted in "The Fathers Also Rise," New York Magazine, November, 18, 1985.

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Judicial disbelief possible to highlight some

Judge Turner in reply to a parent who sought to question a court welfare officer’s report: ‘That confirms my suspicions. This is what members of the public do when they disagree with the recommendations. I believe that it is totally wrong that members of the public can challenge judges and court welfare officers. Officers should not be subjected to it. There is a procedure outside the Court about making a complaint against the judge. Members of the public should not have the right to make complaints.’

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Why worry? possible to highlight some

Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS which will give rise to mental health and psychological disorders and dysfunction will result in more false allegations being made. PAS is recognised in Germany, Holland, Israel, Spain, Canada having passed the Mohan Test and in the United States having passed two Frye tests. Yet in the UK the main case law on it is re L,V,M and H, stating that PAS is a misnomer after a report by Sturge and Glaser two feminist psychiatrists on the issue of Domestic violence not on the psychology behind PAS and report by LJ Wall.

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Current UK situation possible to highlight some

Parental alienation Syndrome exists even if the Court denies it exists. Children’s welfare is being destroyed. Already in the UK we have the greatest amount of teenage pregnancies which is directly related to fatherlessness, the worst ever mental health of teenagers, increasing teenage delinquency, rape, drug and alcohol abuse, self harming and poor behaviour in our schools. This is backed up by the BMA report in 2004 and the UNICEF report 2007.

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After the problem – what answer? possible to highlight some

Raja V Austin Gray (a firm), [2002] EWHC 1607 (QB) 31st July 2002 and in particular paragraph 12 where it states; It seems to me that it is reasonable and in the public interest to expect professionals, and indeed anyone else offering particular skills for reward, to exercise them with reasonable competence.

This includes the Judiciary with their ample pensions, lawyers, barristers, Guardians, Social workers, CAFCASS officers.

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Proper training possible to highlight some

In the CASE OF T.P. AND K.M. v. THE UNITED KINGDOM (Application no. 28945/95)

The local authority, which is charged with the duty of protecting the child and is a party in the court proceedings, may reasonably not be regarded by a parent as being able to approach the issue with objectivity. The question whether crucial material should be disclosed should therefore not be decided by the local authority, or the health authority responsible for the medical professional who conducted the interview.

The same principle applies to CAFCASS officers and others.

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  • The Report of the Inquiry into Child Abuse in Cleveland (1987). At para. 12.34, it is to

  • be noted that unanimity was recorded among the experts who had given evidence to

  • the inquiry in relation to a number of matters. Those were endorsed by the inquiry team:

    • All interviews should be undertaken only by those with some training, experience and aptitude for talking with children.

    • The need to approach each interview with an open mind.

    • The style of the interview should be open-ended questions to support and encourage the child in free recall.

    • The interview should go at the pace of the child and not of the adult.

    • The setting for the interview must be suitable and sympathetic.

    • There must be careful recording of the interview and what the child says, whether or not there is a video recording.

    • It must be recognised that the use of facilitative techniques may create difficulties in

    • subsequent court proceedings.

    • The great importance of adequate training for all those engaged in this work.

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WHAT is the State DOING? (1987). At para. 12.34, it is to

  • Please feel free to contact FLINT at 6, The Towers, Forton rd, Gosport. Hampshire. PO12 3HA

  • Tel – 07719020208

  • Email;

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We also seek witnesses to testify with evidenced cases (1987). At para. 12.34, it is to

Please contact Shaun on the above contact details and be willing to permit sight of the documents in order to ensure we do not have any cranks/ weak cases involved as the campaign has begun for the restoration of the family and accountability.

…….and God help those that deceive us…