Enforcement of Contact Orders - A New Era?

16 JAN 2006

Joanne Edwards, Partner, Manches LLP. In April 2004, in a judgment which received much press coverage, Munby J apologised to a father who left his court in tears having been forced to abandon his 5 year battle for contact with his daughter due to the mother's implacable hostility. In a rallying call to Parliament, Munby J complained that this case illustrates all too uncomfortably the failings of the system. There is much wrong with our system and the time has come for us to recognise that fact and to face up to it honestly. If we do not we risk forfeiting public confidence." This is the second of two articles on the Children and Adoption Bill and looks at: the problems surrounding enforcement of contact orders; the proposals in the Green Paper published 3 months after Munby J's plea, Parental Separation: Children's Needs and Parent's Responsibilities, Cm 6273 (HMSO, 2004); and the changes which are set to be made when the Bill, which received its third reading in the House of Lords in November 2005, becomes law. See February [2006] Fam Law 125 for the full article.

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