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In re B (Children) (FC)

The link is to Bailii for this case.

The case was one where the Guardian ad Litem asked for the standard of proof to be a "real possibility" of a "risk of significant harm" for the S31 A threshold rather than "balance of probabilities".

Had the Guardian at Litem won then it would have confirmed that parties to a Family Court case need to prove their innocence rather than the state prove (even on a balance of probabilities) their guilt.

It is important to note that the local authority supported the Guardian (as did the mother). It is a fact that frequently decisions are taken by local authorities on the basis of "real possibility". That is one reason whey they get so many decisions wrong.

Getting this right, however, will take some doing. It requires firstly for the threshold to be actually tested in the lower courts. We got a refusal of permission for the court of appeal judgment transcript this week which confirms that many parents are advised to consent to threshold in the lower courts only to find that this results in them losing their children to adoption.

There was a saga in April in Birmingham FPC which resulted in me being evicted from the court because I wished to encourage a mother to contest threshold and not consent to the local authority's demands. That particular saga has not yet completed.

It has been argued that practitioners at times avoid the more difficult cases and make themselves busy with cases where threshold is not really met. By the process known as "advocating for the child" they pressurise experts into writing reports to suit their objectives (this process is also known as perverting the course of justice). The single expert system (that I hope will get some challenge soon) then traps parents in a kafkaesque world in which they are required to prove their innocence against an expert opinion, but are not allowed to talk to any other experts about their case. A hopeless system.

We should not be surprised at the campaigning of F4J. I take the view that their campaigning goes a bit further than I would support. However, I fully understand why they are so upset. The Family Court system randomly chews people up and spits them out without a proper commitment to justice, equality of arms and all the components of Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights - a point I made when being evicted from the FPC in Birmingham. The people who suffer the most are the children - those for whom the system is supposed to be beneficial.


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Statement by John Hemming
I am pleased that the Police have now made it clear that there has been a concerted effort to promote false criminal allegations against me and that the allegations had no substance whatsoever.
I would like to thank Emily Cox, my children, Ayaz Iqbal (my Solicitor), my local lib dem team and many others who supported me through this dreadful experience. There are many worse things that happen to people, but this was a really bad experience.
It is bad enough to have false allegations made about yourself to the police, but to have a concerted campaign involving your political opponents and many others in public creates an environment in which it is reasonable to be concerned about ill founded vigilante attacks on your family and yourself. Luckily there was a more substantial lobby to the contrary as well, which included many people who were themselves real survivors of abuse, which has helped.
I am normally someone who helps other people fight injustice. …

R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

I have only just found this one which I think is accurately reported below (but if it is not please give me an accurate report).


R v SUSSEX JUSTICES ex p McCARTHY [1924] 1 KB 256

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

Here, the magistrates’ clerk retired with the bench when they were considering a charge of dangerous driving. The clerk belonged to a firm of solicitors acting in civil proceedings for the other party to the accident. It was entirely irrelevant that there had been no evidence of actual influence brought to bear on the magistrates, and the conviction was duly quashed.

It is clear that the deputy clerk was a member of the firm of solicitors engaged in the conduct of proceedings for damages against the applicant in respect of the same collision as that which gave rise to the charge that the justices were considering. It is said, and, no doubt, truly, that when that gentleman retired in the usual way with the justices, taking with him the…

Statement re Police investigation into Harassment and Perverting the Course of Justice.

It was recently reported that the police were not investigating the allegations of Perverting the Course of Justice that I had made. This came as a surprise to me as I had been told for some time that my allegations were to be considered once the VRR had been rejected. I have now had a very constructive meeting with Staffordshire police on Friday 29th June 2018 and the misunderstandings have been resolved. At that meeting the evidence relating to the perversion of the course of justice and the harassment campaign against my family were discussed. The police have decided to investigate both the perversion of the course of justice and also the harassment campaign. I would like to thank them for changing their decision and I accept their apology for the way in which they did that. I am also in possession of written confirmation a police force would be investigating allegations that a vulnerable witness has been harassed for trying to expose the campaign against me. I hope that the aut…