Video-recording (life and death)


We’ve been having a lively debate about whether or not parents should be able to record their interactions with professionals, and there’s a piece over at the Guardian about it

I’ve today come across a Court of Protection case, decided by Newton J.

St Georges NHS Healthcare Trust and P 2015

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWCOP 42

[link will be added here in due course]

This case involved a very ill man who had had a heart attack and due to a long period of time before being revived suffered hypoxic brain damage. There was agreement that if he had another cardiac arrest he should not be resuscitated.

The hospital had applied to Court for a declaration that they be allowed to withdraw treatment (renal replacement therapy) which would have the impact of causing the man to die. The family were opposed to this and were arguing that the…

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Happy Daddy’s Day!

Researching Reform

Researching Reform would like to wish all fathers a very lovely Father’s Day today and we hope you get to spend it playing and spending time with your little and perhaps not so little ones, today!

For those dads who won’t get to see their children today we are thinking of you, and wish you strength and positivity.

Celebrating dads everywhere, we’ve added some entertaining, thought provoking and musical delights for you!

Who started Father’s Day and what is its origin? 

Father’s Day Documentary looks at Barack Obama’s volunteer programme and offers insights into the President’s own fatherless childhood

Uplifting Father’s Day Quotes! 

Nature’s 10 best animal dads! 

Happy Father’s Day from Researching Reform xxxxx

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composite threshold – a living example


I wrote about the difficulties of composite thresholds here  particularly where a document is produced that sets out what everyone says but doesn’t end up with clarity as the precise way that threshold is said to be met.

This judgment by Her Honour Judge Owens  OCC v B and T 2015 is a really good example of that.

Particularly since the Judge includes a suitably anonymised version of the threshold at the end of the judgment. I commend that, I think it makes far more sense when considering what decisions was made by a Court to see the factual background set out.  I really like it.

The version provided is a composite document, set out in tablular form (and again, I like the way that this is produced, it is really helpful in terms of seeing what the allegation is, where the evidence is for it and…

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In The News


Six month delay in giving judgment (appeal point)


Long standing (or should that be ‘suffering’) readers will be familiar with the law that care proceedings are to be concluded within 26 weeks, as a result of the much beloved [sorry, that just broke my sarcasm filter]  Children and Families Act 2014.

The twenty-six week timescale… a presence that looms over us like one of Scrooge’s ghosts at the foot of the bed pointing a bony finger towards us and muttering  “repent, repent”  [or ‘shame, shame’ if you watched this week’s Game of Thrones]

No, not THAT Scrooge No, not THAT Scrooge…

Was hoping for something more gothic and spectral, but Stadtler and Waldorf will have to suffice Was hoping for something more gothic and spectral, but Stadtler and Waldorf will have to suffice

Never shake thy gory locks at me, to provide another reference for an unwelcome spectral presence.

The Court of Appeal had to deal with an appeal arising from a Judge who concluded a final hearing in September 2014 but then did not deliver a judgment until March 2015 – i.e…

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Researching Reform Speaks With France 2 About Cinderella Law

Researching Reform

Cinderella Law, which is really an amendment to existing legislation, rather than a new law in itself, was designed to bring Criminal Law up to date, by recognising the effects of emotional as well as physical abuse on children.

At the time of its unveiling, it received a great deal of criticism, both for its criminal sanctions, which could see parents go to jail for emotional abuse – a phenomenon as yet undefined in the criminal courts – and the lack of clarity as to how this law would work in practice.

As a result, its creators and campaigners, Action For Children went underground, and despite getting a mention in the Queen’s Speech last year and subsequently being ratified into law in March 2015, Cinderella Law’s progress has remained largely a mystery, until now.

France 2 have made a very good documentary on Cinderella Law, which is balanced and…

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Child Abuse Inquiry To Hire A Further 21 Barristers, Angering Survivors And Charities

Researching Reform

It’s difficult at this stage to work out whether the Inquiry panel are simply devoid of common sense or just looking to profit from the process, but the news that the nation’s Statutory Inquiry Into Child Abuse is to hire a further 21 barristers is going down like a lead balloon.

Justice Goddard, the new Chair for the Inquiry has decided (we might assume with guidance and prodding from others in the legal sector), to hire 21 more barristers to help with the running of the inquiry. This does not surprise us, as we mentioned in an earlier post that the inquiry would become lawyer-centric in its next incarnation, with the vast majority of panel members now from the legal sector.

Not surprisingly, this has upset survivors and victims of abuse. Some are calling the move an exercise in profiteering, others a form of alienation which may well deter…

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Question it!

Researching Reform

Welcome to another week, one that’s bound to be buzzing with talk about the nation’s statutory inquiry into child sexual abuse, and its decision to hire a further 21 barristers to help run the investigation.

The move has upset victims and survivors of abuse, whilst those in the legal sector are welcoming the decision to get more legal minds on board. Those against this latest development fear a lawyer dominated inquiry will serve only the lawyers and deter victims from coming forward. Those in favour cite highly trained advocates helping out as a positive step in the fact-finding process.

And others, like ourselves, are not sure whether this latest reaction to yet more lawyers working on the inquiry is down to poor communication on the Panel’s part or a deep seated and perhaps legitimate mistrust of the legal sector. No mention of the decision was published on the Inquiry website…

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