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The Philcox Case

The following is part of a quotation from Carol Sarler's Daily Mail Story.
When a story unfolds that is as obscene as the deaths of Amy and Owen Philcox by the hands of their father Brian, most of us try to work our way through the unthinkable steps of it: how carefully he planned the murders and how cruelly he hinted at what was to come.

What I would ask, however, is why this seems relatively common in England, but not so common elsewhere. Is it that we don't hear of stories from other countries (be they in the English speaking world or not) or is there a difference.

I have concentrated on Public Family Law issues, but from time to time see Private Family Law issues. What I see in those is that the most important objective is to obtain a situation in which the parents (and ex partners) work together to look after their children. The details of this don't matter, but the cases that have turned out well are those where there is not a continuing war between ex-partners with the children as the unwilling pawns.

It also strikes me that our system of Family Law encourages people to be intransigent and uncooperative as they get rewards as a result. It is accepted that mediation is a better way forwards, but I wonder really if we are using the right people (CAFCASS and Resolution) as the source of mediators as they normally operate in a hostile environment where a big motivator is revenge.

It is also the case that the extended family are often good potential mediators as they have an interest in resolving disputes amicably. This would, however, mean a substantial shift away from using legal proceedings towards using common sense. As with most issues we need to look at the overall picture before coming to any conclusions. However, one area that needs to be considered further here is the extended family conference as suggested by the Family Rights Group.

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