McKENZIE SUCCESS: Permission to Appeal an Adoption Order GRANTED

It was only thanks to a major team effort that this could happen today:

And then:

  1. travelling to the mother whose two daughters were taken by… I shall refrain from naming and shaming the Council for now; they know who they are…
  2. submitting an Application for Contact (form C100 – obtainable from your local court or online here!!!)
  3. digging into her life story and building trust – despite all her bad experiences
  4. attending a ‘Directions’ hearing in the Royal Courts of Justice
  5. reminding Social Services to comply to the order made
  6. learning to use Google docs to co-author a ‘skeleton argument and amended grounds for appeal’ and submit it in time
  7. getting ready for a hearing about the Permission to Appeal
  8. visiting Social Services who had not complied to the Order
  9. producing a ‘Position Statement’ – just in case – for ‘the other side’ were going to produce something…
  10. submitting the McKenzie CV and asking for ‘right of audience’ which was granted. [Since it’s up to the discretion of the judge, one never knows…]

The mother came out crying with, I presume a mix of joy and relief, for “she got it”: the permission to appeal. The Appeal will be heard in nearly 3 months: in May 2013.

The key is the precedent case made by Judge Munby, the current President of the Family Division who had said [para 44, iv]

to take a baby at birth is a dreadful thing: dreadful for the father, the mother and the baby…

It refers to this case in the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg which emphasised at paras [116], [131], [133],

that the removal of a child from his mother at or shortly after birth is a “draconian” and “extremely harsh” measure, requiring “exceptional justification” and “extraordinarily compelling reasons” under Article 8.

PS. Our meeting with Austin Mitchell MP in the afternoon is on this blog post.


About Sabine Kurjo McNeill

I'm a mathematician and system analyst formerly at CERN in Geneva and became an event organiser, software designer, independent web publisher and online promoter of Open Justice. My most significant scientific contribution is
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8 Responses to McKENZIE SUCCESS: Permission to Appeal an Adoption Order GRANTED

  1. An appeal is not enough but is a beginning, stolen children should be returned to their parents.
    In Spain children were stolen routinely from mothers at birth by nuns and other members of the catholic church to be sold (unlawfull adoptions) instead of social workers commiting these crimes, some of these babies grew up in countries like the USA, finding by chance and dna matching their origins, begining to understand what happened to them thirty years ago and how their identities were stolen at birth.

    • obsesiverights says:

      The “stealing” describes the act as a crime. That is with intent to deprive- cause injury to another- or for gain for self or another. I grew up with tales from my mother’s sister and my stepmother’s Irish father. I realise this did happen, on such a scale that it is reasonably certain that a fair % of those removals were certainly crimes. From my Irish ancestors who lived through the 1st Great War and the ‘troubles’, I learned that during this time, the families were large and placing impossible demands on parents. Mothers pressed the church to take and care for their children, babies and young children left abandoned. Those were desperate times, an exodus from Ireland, to USA, and others so desperate to leave, they came to ‘hated’ England.

      As a 10 year old I spent 3 years in a catholic orphanage in England. There were children from babies to 15 years old (boys). Very few spoke of their past, but from those that did and my memories, I remember that no matter how bad things were, or how bad they thought things were, they had an irresistible need to return home. “Home really is where the heart is.”. While I was there witnessed sexual abuse, and reported it. The offender mysteriously dispatched. He was a boy of 15 -16 and given authority which he routinely abused by indiscriminate “field punishment” of the dormitory of 10 -11 year olds.

      The point. I make is that the authorities have guidelines rules and legislation. There will always be some prepared to abuse the rules and regulations for their own gain or benefit. There is a tendency to not tell tales, then more people see the chance for a personal gain, and because they are “protected” by silence the corruption increases. In turn peer pressure increases to close ranks. and pretty soon everyone is doing it, or covering it up. Nothing can stay secret forever and “Today’s Cover Up is Tomorrow’s Scandal”.

      To return it is not just the Catholic’s – any more than any other organisation. Let us not focus on individual groups, or those that failed to blow the whistle. Not even the individual criminal. Let us focus instead first on ourselves for allowing it to happen. (Taking personal responsibility). Then get together and “Make it Happen”. Then “Put it Right”.

      What will Make it Happen?
      Some say a culture change. Get those who we appoint to change, so that their integrity will ensure the protection of the people by the State. Oliver Cromwell tried this and had to come back to do the job himself.

      Since then in modern times it has been tried, again and again at significant financial cost to the taxpayer and failed. ‘Self Regulation just does not work’ it gives “authority without responsibility.” “Dictatorship” we put in even more Quangos and give them the power to oversee, and even in the case of the Crime Commissioner the power to appoint and sack the Chief Constable. Looks good on the outside, and great sounding, but impractical and badly thought out.

      These ‘Independent’ bodies fail they are under-resourced, and subjected to cuts and demands made on them for higher performance. If they inflict punishment by fines or sackings. They can involve both themselves and the authority in expensive litigation. This drains their own and the resources of the authority they oversee. This is ineffective on the individual, it is the taxpayer pays both ways, and gets less for even greater cost.

      The Solution (open for discussion)
      The solution is that the discipline for ensuring that the individual Judges is not left as at present to unelected Judges, but to a body of individuals unconnected with the legal profession (to avoid any hint of bias), and elected specifically from the commons. All complaints to be screened through the pre- court protocol that is set up to electronically filter the time lines relevant legislation, and detailed information setting out and separating authorised (court) documents, correspondence, and witness statements of truth. Each party responsible for its own pre paid costs of the application. The Electronic platform rejecting applications automatically (strike outs) for the reasons set out the CPR.

      The end complaint then forwarded to the responsible elected body for judgement before a video consideration (Transparency) and transferred to the Web for public access and judgements to be put on public record. .

      • Well thought out and written comment!!!

        I’ll go to this bizarre hearing that is taking place in Norman Scarth’s absence. 3 judges get paid for doing this today!

        I wrote to the Chief Lord Justice but haven’t had an answer yet.

        I also wrote to the President of the Family Division and did get an answer.

        Next I’m planning to write to the Attorney General. But I need to be ‘turned on’ – with the right thoughts and the right feelings…

        MANY THANKS for your input!

  2. obsesiverights says:

    Every victory counts to build the reputation and confidence in the ability of McKenzie Friends. This gives experience and aids resolve to improve learn lessons and build confidence. Few McF have formal legal training, most have depended almost entirely upon their belief that because their case is right and true Justice will be done. Then they see the professional lawyers using tactics that are unfair and breach the rules. The professionals have been trained that it is appropriate to tell lies in court, and are given leeway by the Judges, who often abuse discretion to favour the professional. They will imply that because the McF is unqualified he is confused or he can’t possible know all the intricacies of the Such and Such Law.

    The astute McF will have ensured that he learns CPR and Practice Directions. and studies the Judges Rules this will more than outweigh the advantages of the legal profession, they have for too long taken for granted that they get away with this or that minor transgression. This is their weakness if they played by the rules, it would be an even battle because the prudent litigant would not need to resort to the courts if they had a good case, as the truth of the evidence would decide most cases in the pre- court protocol..

    Let the wins take the credit and the pleasure this small win was no small feat, Credit must go to everyone because each played their part, even just by joining to show support. We will be part of what is going to be a revolution in the future of McF and Victims of Crime and Legal Abuse.

    “A transition, unique in human history will occur. If the transition goes well, humanity has a magnificent future. If it goes badly, we may be thrown into a new Dark Age or worse.
    [Dr. James Martin] The Sunday Times, London “Britain’s leading futurologist”

    • How absolutely delightful, dear ‘McK F in Spirit’!

      This ‘learning by doing’ is a seriously interesting approach to life in general and courts in particular!

      I.e. we’ve just discovered the difference between McK Fs and ‘lay advocates’. But that doesn’t sound as ‘friendly’, does it!?…

      I was shocked when a student of law told me that his prof had said that sometimes the profession demands lying!…

      That’s the ultimate difference: whether you do things as a ‘professional’, i.e. for money’, or as an ‘amateur’, i.e. for love!

      Yes, yes, we do our best That’s all we can do. Hopefully, the result will be the transition to a magnificent future!!!

      Onwards and upwards!!!

  3. JM says:

    good on you!

  4. Reblogged this on Isaackerryward's Blog and commented:
    This is brill! Lets work towards more ppl getting this!

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