i suspect that as Ms A, bravely pushed, so that Dr Hibbert will be before the GMC, may, this year, that others are also pressing for reviews of misleading, damaging treatment & reports, that meant they lost or nearly lost children, that goalposts are being shifted, as happens each time, a wave of protest, groups forming, media attention growing, as cases are presented, the authorities will be able to say, ‘ah, but we do it differently now’, parents are being disempowered, in different ways, as now, those savvy & strong, or lucky enough to call for and succeed in getting an independent expert, to refute the one’s paid for adversarial local authorities, with their children held to ransom, will now find that route unaccessible.
The Ministry of Justice has just announced new measures that have come into force which, we are told, are designed to make the family courts more efficient, faster and all the better to serve the welfare of the children who come before them. But is this the reality, or are we simply watching the system side-step the thorny issue of competence amongst court appointed experts in favour of other nebulous sectors inside this multi disciplinary labyrinth and engaging in a very dangerous cost-cutting exercise to boot?
And what of the power implications? With an ever-evolving remit where judicial discretion is concerned, judges could be seen to be reclaiming power in a system, which until now, has largely marginalised them.
The new measures, which came into force yesterday (31st January) will require the family courts to restrict expert evidence to that which is only necessary to resolve the case before…
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