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21 JUN 2011

Penny Booth: Owt for nowt?

Penny BoothThe issues on elderly care have come round again. To make breakfast television and pages in the newspaper it must be attracting attention. Seems to me that the problem is what we now expect when we have what is referred to as ‘care at home'. Have families changed that much? We no longer have the size of home, the financial resources or the wherewithal to care for our elderly family members at home and the thought of doing so impacts on our nuclear family and disjointed caring for children.  The alternatives will cost us as a society. Providing the kind of care that would be, for many, the ‘ideal' is simply not possible. The disparate parts of families no longer live close enough to each other to make practical ‘care' feasible.

Assessments of the needs of the elderly resulting in care packages with visitors several times a day to help the older person with their personal needs, cooking or whatever do not appear to do the job. Carers are pressed by limits on their time spent with each person and I know from personal experience how limiting that can be. Is that the kind of society we want? If we want something better, it has, somehow, to be funded. The problem is us, however discomforting it may be to say it. The elephant is not only in the living room, it is already making a mess - whose job is it to clean up anyway?

E (Children)

The dismissal of the appeal in E (Children) is a good thing. Even better than home-made apple pie. After all, if people were encouraged to think that by removing children from the jurisdiction to a place closer to the heart (and place of origin) of the abducting parent they could drag in Article 13(b) to excuse their behaviour then where would it all end?

The reports of the behaviour of the father do seem rather strange, not to say somewhat extreme if he wants to be a ‘regular Dad' to the children. Someone should be helping him to see that his behaviour is not regarded as ‘regular'. It is for the Norwegian authorities to ensure that his undertakings are maintained. For the sake of other cases, the Supreme Court is correct in its judgment because to do otherwise than commit to the Hague rules risks the operation of the law on abduction for all. The price paid for constant and consistent operation is just that. It really does serve the interests of those children and of all children to maintain the one aim to serve the best interests of children consistently. The abducting parent may feel they have paid dearly for this consistency, but it is cheaper than the alternative.

Tesco Law

Tesco law? This really is so last year. I think that I like the sound of ‘Co-op law' because not only does it masquerade as ‘cooperation', but it reminds me of my childhood. Can you still recall your ‘divi' number? - No, neither can I, but my partner can. Running up to the local Co-op with the list my Mum would give me, it never said ‘legal advice' on the bottom. If government proposals go through unchallenged, for many millions sadly in need of help but unable to help themselves, it never will.

Who was it said justice doesn't come cheap?

Penny sets the questions for Family Law journalCPD, a new way to gain CPD points by answering multiple choice questions based on the content of the journal.

She is an Honorary Research Fellow at Liverpool University Centre for the Study of the Child, the Family and the Law. Click here to follow Penny Booth on Twitter.

The views expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily those of Family Law or Jordan Publishing and should not be considered as legal advice.

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