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Family Law

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21 DEC 2006

Everybody's Business: Applications for Contact Orders by Consent

Jane Craig, Chair, Children in Families Committee, Family Justice Council. In February 2006, Wall LJ presented a report to the President of the Family Division on 13 cases in which 29 children, from 13 different families, were murdered by their fathers during contact (Report to the President of the Family Division on the publication by the Womens Aid Federation of England entitled Twenty-Nine Child Homicides: Lessons still to be learnt on domestic violence and child protection" with particular reference to the five cases in which there was judicial involvement). In 5 of the 13 cases contact was ordered by the court, and in 3 of those cases, an order for contact was made by consent. Allegations of domestic violence had been made in all the cases dealt with by the court. The Family Justice Council was asked to prepare a report for the President of the Family Division to consider, and make recommendations about, what approach should be adopted by the court when asked to make a contact order by consent, where domestic violence has been an issue in the case. The Councils report is published in January 2007. This article summarises its findings and main recommendations.See February [2007] Fam Law for the full article."

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