The recent landmark ruling re Baby J by Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division, where the snatching of the baby was recorded by video and published online.
This case raises important questions about the extent to which the public should be able to read and see what disgruntled parents say when they speak out about what they see as deficiencies in the family justice system, particularly when, as here, their complaints are about the care system. The case also raises important questions about how the court should adapt its practice to the realities of the internet, and in particular social media. For these reasons I am giving this judgement in open court.
The judgement made the news in a number of ways and is also being analysed and presented on this video – starting min 47:
- the good intention: public disclosure on mainstream and social media;
- the ‘in camera’ rule in Chapter 41, Section 97 of the Children’s Act 1989.
The wider context for Melissa’s case is:
- what’s unique in the UK: gags, forced adoption, punishment without crime, ‘risk of emotional abuse’, supervised contact
- local authorities meeting adoption targets and being paid rewards
- the secrecy of Family Courts as the mechanism to legalise child snatching aka state kidnapping
- the Judicial Working Group on Litigants in Person – expecting a rise due to ‘austerity cuts’;
- the ‘target markets‘, as defined by Vicky Haigh, the mother who spent 9 months in jail for having said hello to her daughter.
Requests to Return our Stolen Children:
- Children placed in Foster Care – a petition before the House of Commons that every parent should use as a reason for asking their MP for support
- Abolish Adoption without Parental Consent – a petition to be placed before the EU Parliament
- an 8-page Dossier of online Evidence in its support.