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Re: Davies (Patricia Anne Davies and Brian Davies) [2013] EWHC 3294 (Fam)

Appealing this case would be now moot. However, there are some points to be made.

Firstly, it is in my view a responsibility of parents who separate to make reasonable efforts to ensure that a good relationship is maintained between both parents and children. There are circumstances under which this is obviously not reasonable (when one of the parents is a real threat to the children). However, this is clearly a responsibility.

However, the objective of maintaining contact between parent and child does not permit the court to behave unlawfully. There are a number of problems with this case. The first is that the court should not ordinarily hear a contempt hearing of its own motion. The second hearing (and the third) should have been held by a different judge to the one who heard it. The second is that legal assistance should have been made available before the grandparents and aunt were locked up on bail.

It raises a question really as to whether effectively a form of collective punishment was being used to encourage the mother to make contact with the court.

I don't take the view that the ends (which I agree with about ensuring contact) justify the means.

Comments

'It raises a question really as to whether effectively a form of collective punishment was being used to encourage the mother to make contact with the court'
Precisesly..and that cannot be right . Again I agree that paents have a resposibility to behave in an adult manner where their children are concerned unless a parent is a threat to the safety of the child or in cases of documented domestic violence..
Jerry said…
That's tantamount to blackmail surely, we don't know the ins and outs of the case, we do not know how the mother has supported herself and child in a foreign country

playing devils advocate why would the mother who cannot afford court fees et al, lost her job, move to a foreign country with what must be not a penny to her name, that cannot be good for mother and child, and well many parts of Russia is quite expensive, more so than over on these shores,

Jailing the family does not produce the whereabouts of the child and mother, it just shows us that when the state doesn't get what it wants their simply answer is to Jail people, and we have the gall to criticise China and other countries about their HRA abuses

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

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KING’S BENCH DIVISION

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

November 9 1923

Editor’s comments in bold.

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