UK Insurance Companies Covering Up Child Abuse Since 1996?

Researching Reform

When news broke last year that local authorities had been caught trying to suppress evidence of child abuse to avoid losing insurance cover should they have found themselves having to compensate victims, the public and the media started to look at how insurance companies in these situations were behaving, too.

A BBC investigation observed that insurance companies were placing pressure on councils to make it increasingly difficult for victims of sexual abuse to seek justice, not just in the present, but stretching back several years.

That this behaviour has a long history to it, is even greater cause for concern. We know this kind of behaviour stems back at least as far as 1996, when MP Rhodri Morgan exposed insurance companies Zurich Mutual and Municipal’s threats to withdraw insurance if independent reports outlining abuse in care in Wales, were published.

As of yet, there has only been one inquiry into how…

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Family Friendly Private Law Orders Now Available

Family Friendly Private Law Orders Now Available

by Natasha

In a bid to help simplify the often awkward and unnecessarily complex language used within the Family Courts, the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has announced a new set of Private Law Orders, which are designed to be user friendly.

The Orders relate to the Child Arrangements Programme (CAP), which focuses on disagreements between parents or families about arrangements concerning any children involved. It is hoped that the changes to the orders will make it easier for the growing number of self represented parents (Litigants in Person, LIPs) to understand the process and engage with it.

One of the most exciting aspects of these re-formatted orders is that they are set using templates which, we are told, should allow parents and other parties to leave the court with a copy of the order on the same day. A very welcome development, as orders can often take months to appear.

If you’d like to take a look at the drafts for these orders, you can do so by clicking the first link above (the documents are sitting at the bottom of the Jordans post, and can be downloaded).

What do you think? Are these new forms really user friendly, or do they still leave a lot of questions unanswered for families representing themselves in court?




Natasha | January 28, 2016 at 9:40 pm | Categories: Family Law, LIPs, Researching Reform | URL:

Applying For Contact After An Adoption Order Is Made

Researching Reform

Along with whether or not a parent can record a child protection meeting, the question mark over whether a biological parent can apply for contact after an adoption order has been made, is one we are asked often. This very helpful summary from Suspicious Minds gives a good breakdown of the provision for this, which came into force with the Children and Families Act 2014.

Essentially, the law now allows biological parents to make an application for contact after an adoption order has been made, although pre 2014 any contact arrangements would have been dealt with before the order was completed. Today, biological parents can apply for contact either before or after an adoption order. Noteworthy too is that this power to apply does not just extend to orders made after 2014, it includes all adoption orders prior to 2014, also.

The summary over at Suspicious Minds is worth…

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President Says Family Courts Are “Neither Compassionate Nor Humane.”


Researching Reform

It’s taken ten years for us to get here, but finally it seems the most senior minds inside the Family Court are starting to actively push for change.

Suggesting people would be forgiven for thinking the system was, “neither compassionate, nor even humane”, President of the Family Justice System, Sir James Munby was passing judgment in a case which involved two parents unable to access legal aid to fight to stop their three year old child from being adopted. Munby also touches on the human rights principles this case raises – the right to a fair trial is a well known and basic human right, which is currently being eroded by the government’s ongoing cutbacks to the child welfare and legal sectors.

These cutbacks are preventing parents and children from accessing legal support and this, to our mind at least, is a direct breach of Article 6. 

Munby’s observation that the Family…

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Poppi Worthington- “This Sounds Like A Depressingly Familiar Catalogue Of Failure And Cover Up.”

Researching Reform

Poppi Worthington hit the headlines in 2012, when she died of horrific injuries at only 13 months. At the time, police and other officials refused to go into detail about the death, but a report that has now been published confirms the worst.

In a report released on 19th January, 2016, Mr Justice Jackson confirms that astonishing failings by both the police and social services will now mean that justice will be denied to little Poppi. 

The judge goes on to conclude that, on the balance of probabilities, her father Paul Worthington had “perpetrated a penetrative… assault on Poppi” shortly before she died.

We are also told that no officer was ever sacked over the errors in Poppi’s case, and the policeman in charge of the investigation took retirement at the age of 48 on a pension of up to £46,000 a year.

Now, a new inquest into Poppi’s death…

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