Solicitors in Milton Keynes - Family Law, Motoring Law, Domestic Violence

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Perhaps understandably, there is a massive focus on children’s rights in criminal trials. They are entitled to ‘special measures’, ‘advocates’, ‘intermediaries’ and more relaxed court procedures; for example lawyers and judges may be permitted to not wear wigs. It is important that proper steps are taken to enable children to give the ‘best evidence’, so that their stories can be heard in a cogent and probative manner. The same is true of family law proceedings where the voice of the child is heard in many different ways.

Each parent may claim (perhaps truthfully) that the child has told them something opposite to what the other parent is reporting. Divided loyalties is something that even middle-aged adults find difficult to contend with. The Family Court Reporter or Children’s Guardian, employed by CAFCASS, will obviously do their professional best to fully and accurately report the child’s wishes and feelings. They do a fantastic job. Where appropriate social workers will play a role too.

In some cases the child may speak directly to the Court, if he or she is of sufficient age and understanding and it is appropriate for him/her to do so. In other cases, things said by children to teachers and the police, for example, may be of forensic assistance.

The child’s Right to a Fair Trial obviously includes the right to be listened to as well as heard.

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