“Mr Boothroyd on behalf of the local authority, has referred me to a famous but now somewhat old lecture given by Lord Mackay of Clashfern in1989, when he delivered the Joseph Jackson memorial lecture. It is to be remembered that 1989 is the year of the Children Act, albeit it that did not come into force in 1990 or maybe even 1991. During the course of that lecture, Lord Mackay said this,
“The integrity and independence of the family is the basic building block of a free and democratic society and the need to defend it should be clearly perceivable in the law. Accordingly, unless there is evidence that a child is being or is likely to be positively harmed because of a failure in the family, the state, whether in the guise of a local authority or a court, should not interfere.”
40 The lecture is to be found reported in New Law Journal vol 139 at p.505. The quoted paragraph being at p.507.”
There’s an unofficial competition in this blog for ‘the worst case of the year’ and although it is only October, I think it may be hard to find one worse in the next two and a half months. It is an unwelcome award and nobody tends to give an acceptance speech for them, it is more “I’d like to blame the following for this…” than a sobbing Gwyneth, and certainly not a Sally Field “You…like me”
“Relinquish” in this context means the decision by a parent that they cannot care for their child and would want a Local Authority to arrange for the child to be adopted – consensual adoption would be another way of putting it. I don’t really care for the word ‘relinquish’ myself, but we don’t seem to have settled on a better word yet.
Anyway, this is a case in which parents who had four children…
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