@coe Beyond #Brexit: monitoring the implementation of #EU Resolution 2016/2575(RSP) to Safeguard the Best Interests of Children across the @EU

16 06 26 Trends 1200 675 bSehr geehrter Herr Präsident, dear Political Group Leaders,

In the wake of the UK Referendum and its repercussions, this is to request you to take into account the implementation of EU Resolution 2016/2575(RSP) on Safeguarding the Best Interests of the Child across the EU on the Basis of Petitions addressed to the EU Parliament. UK and non-UK parents and children deeply require our support for their future. In the UK, 23% of the prison population were in ‘care’, but official statistics show trends of ‘forced removals’ and ‘forced adoptions’ rising consistently since 1994: http://chn.ge/28VXiEz

For a number of reasons, the UK has been worst in offending the UN Convention of Child Rights and we therefore had to ‘go to Europe’ – with 30 parents hoping to get their children returned – relying on EU Directives, after the UK Judiciary, Parliament and Government had failed us badly.

International Reports with recommendations by the UN and the Council of Europe have had no effect, but the Fact-Finding visit of MEPs and other PETI activities have – yet only as a small beginning! As further encouraging signs, involvements by Tatjana Zdanoka MEP and Yana Toom MEP in individual cases resulted in success in England and Scotland by having children returned which is, however, extremely rare.

Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, EU Commission, EU Parliament, Forced Adoption, HM Government, Petitions Committee, Public Interest Advocacy, Stolen Children of the UK | 5 Comments

Judicial Review: What is meant by “totally without merit”

UK Human Rights Blog

Samia Wasif and another v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 82

Read judgment here

What is the difference between a case that is “totally without merit” and one that is “not arguable”? Are either of those more or less hopeless than a case that is “bound to fail”?

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@coe @MoJGovUK STOP the FORCED REMOVAL of CHILDREN from their PARENTS: Rising Trends in Care Statistics in UK, Germany and Sweden

16 06 08 Children in Foster CareThis is the Executive Summary of a report I’ve called a ‘petition’. For I sent the 11-page text to the Petitions Secretariat and MEPs in Brussels.

I also submitted it to my constituency MP Tulip Siddiq – for her to put into the petition ‘bag’ – thus following former MP John Hemming who did so with Children Placed in Foster Care in September 2013.

I’ll obviously send it to other MPs who hopefully will make a difference. Maybe you can send it to yours? And ask your Local Council for their statistics on ‘Looked After Children’?

The Executive Summary says:

This petition requests the STOPPING of all forced removals of children from their parents as this crime against humanity emerges, not only in the UK but across Europe, not only recently, but with a rising trend since the 1990’s.

Based on official statistics from the UK, Germany and Sweden, this petition presents activities that are unacceptable in any democratic society; let alone one that claims to subscribe to the Fundamental Charter of Human Rights, the European Convention of Human Rights and the UN Convention on Child Rights.

Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, EU Parliament, HM Government, Parliament, Parliamentary Petition, Petitions Committee, Public Interest Advocacy, Stolen Children of the UK | 5 Comments

Save @NormanScarth #WWII Veteran and #McKenzieFriend from CPS, WYP and ICO

Victims Unite!

16 05 28 Norman ScarthNorman Scarth was a remarkable horse whisperer and has recently celebrated his 90th birthday in Ireland. He fled his native country to be safe from another period in prison or mental hospital, where his enemies would like to see him – for no good reason at all – except negative attitudes such as abuse of power and position – “because they can.”

In this online petition directed at the Prime Minister, Alan Dransfield is asking for a Public Inquiry into the Information Commissioner’s Office [ICO], West Yorkshire Police [WYP] and the Crown Prosecution Service [CPS] regarding Norman’s appalling treatment.

Norman’s experiences are in one life what I’ve observed in soo many victims who had to act as Litigant in Person [LiP] because the legal profession was not supportive. As a result, they became starfighters, campaigners, McKenzie Friends, McKenzie Angels, activists and Public Interest Advocates. Hence these 

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@MoJ Who’s Afraid of #McKenzieFriends? Why? NO BAN on paid McKenzie Friends! #McKenzieAngels FLY!

16 05 26 ConsultationThe Lord Chief Justice‘s Consultation on Reforming the Courts’ Approach to McKenzie Friends came out on the day we won our ‘costs case‘: after we’ve been helping Melissa Laird in all sorts of roles in HMP Holloway, the Treasury Solicitor‘s Office thought they needed their money back that they had paid to a private barrister to ‘beat’ us.

The consultation was recently discussed with the Legal Services Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority – with the result: No Case for ban on paid McKenzie Friends and VERY interesting comments regarding the chaos of the legal system – created by money and ‘professional insurance’ above all else.

Submissions by voluntary McKenzie Friends have been made – in chronological order – by:

  1. Natasha Phillips – publisher of the excellent blog Researching Reform;
  2. Mr Anonymous;
  3. Deborah Mahmoudieh – fearless campaigner and multi-issue advocate;
  4. myself.

McKenzie Angels are generally supportive – especially in the public gallery of court rooms – rather than active in terms of writing or presenting submissions to courts.

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Admin Court, Court of Appeal, HM Government, Master of the Rolls Office, Public Interest Advocacy, Right of Audience, Royal Courts of Justice, Secrecy Family Courts, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice, Treasury Solicitor's Office | 2 Comments

@MoJ Eradicating the needs for #McKenzieFriends? Our response to the Lord Chief Justice’s consultation

16 05 26 ConsultationReforming the courts’ approach to McKenzie Friends

This response to the consultation goes beyond the scope of questions posed, as this is written on behalf of an unestimable number of Courts’ Victims and McKenzie Friends with a variety of experiences in and out of courts.

I am a systems analyst who used to diagnose software at CERN, the European Centre for Nuclear Research in Geneva, publish 32 websites and petitions as Voices for the Voiceless[1] and have played many roles as McKenzie Friend. This includes the receipt of ‘gagging orders’ faked by local councils.

More recently, assisting a mother to get her children returned and protecting other child victims at risk, led to what we have been campaigning against and Harriet Harman MP alerted Parliament in 2006 to: 200 parents a year are imprisoned in secrecy![2]

Hence I am writing not only as an advocate of Children’s Rights, but also as a victim of Human Rights violation due to court secrecy – from personal experience of threats of imprisonment and the reality of arrests and prosecution.

Replacing the term ‘McKenzie Friend’ or eradicating the need for McKenzie Friends? Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, Master of the Rolls Office, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 4 Comments

#McKenzieFriends under the Looking Glass of supporting whom: the Court or Litigants in Person?

quote-if-you-can-t-explain-it-simply-you-don-t-understand-it-well-enough-albert-einstein-563651Submission from Deborah Mahmoudieh as a member of the Association of McKenzie Friends and McKenzie Angels in relation to present proposals for government reforms on the presence and practice of McKenzie Friends in UK courts and society:

Terminology: Should the term ‘McKenzie Friend’ should be updated to something that is easier to understand, like ‘Court Supporter’.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The term ‘McKenzie Friend’ has its roots in British legal history and refers to a specific legal case: 1970 case McKenzie v McKenzie: “In that case, the husband was representing himself and wanted the help of someone who was not legally qualified in the English Courts. His request was refused. However on appeal, it was determined that having moral support in Court was part of being entitled to a fair trial under the European Convention on Human Rights. Any such assistants/supporters are therefore now referred to as ‘McKenzie Friends’.”

http://www.separateddads.co.uk/using-mckenzie-friend-court.html Continue reading

Posted in Acting as McKenzie Friend, General, Master of the Rolls Office, Public Interest Advocacy, Strengthening the Association, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 4 Comments

@MoJGovUK Reforming the Courts’ Approach to #McKenzieFriends – first two submissions

16 05 16 ConsultationIt is an interesting sign of our times:

Before we submit our text in the name of the Association of McKenzie Friends to mckenzie.friends@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk, here is:

  1. Natasha Phillips’ contribution of three salient points on her excellent blog Researching Reform;
  2. a McKenzie Friend’s text who wishes to remain anonymous and repeats all questions to be answered.

These are thus two good models / templates for you to submit your own response, or maybe just ‘general’ points.

Master of the Rolls Private Office
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

Dear Sir/Madam


I am writing to make representations regarding the “Reforming the Court’s Approach to McKenzie Friends – A Consultation”, currently being undertaken by the Judiciary Department of the Ministry of Justice.

My responses are under the question headings as set out in the consultation paper. Continue reading

Posted in Master of the Rolls Office, Right of Audience, The Judiciary, The Lord Chief Justice | 3 Comments

@coe @EU #EU Kids’ best interests must come first in cross-border custody cases, urge #MEPs


16 04 28 EU Press ReleaseForwarded from the Press Service of the EU Parliament:

Press release – 28-04-2016

Plenary session / Citizens’ rights / Justice and home affairs

Kids’ best interests must come first in cross-border custody cases, urge MEPs

It is children who pay the price when EU member states fail to cooperate and protect children’s best interests in legal proceedings such as cross-border parental custody disputes and adoption decisions, Parliament points out in a non-binding resolution voted on Thursday. MEPs want specialised chambers within EU countries family courts to ensure more swiftly processed transnational cases.

“There is a need for more cooperation in family matters with cross-border aspects. Our aim is not to impose a single vision of how to handle family conflicts or deal with child welfare issues, but to ensure that the freedom of persons within the Union works in practice, also when it is related to family matters”, said Cecilia…

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@EU #EU Safeguarding Children’s Right across Europe: from Petitioning EU Parliament to Voting on a Resolution

I guess it can be called citizen’s democracy in action. Here’s the chronological development:

    1. Our petition to the UK Parliament regarding Children Placed in Foster Care, put forward by former MP John Hemming yielded no response.
    2. Instead, I am now one of so far four ‘activists’ [Police calls us ‘members of a protest group’] who have been persecuted and prosecuted by UK authorities in our pursuits of being a voice for Children Screaming to be Heard. Two of us face a jury trial on 11 July – potentially committing us to prison. My ‘crime’ was to publish this blog post – in everybody’s view a clear ‘stitch-up’ between Police and CPS.
    1. our collective petition was asking for the Abolition of Adoptions without Parental Consent – presented in six minutes of passion, when accompanied by 30 parents on 19 March 2014 – and quite rationally to a newly elected Committee on 11 November 2014;
    2. six individual petitions related to the violation of the right to language, religion and culture;
    3. six more petitions concern the abusive placement of children;
    4. many more petitions are on the data base of the Petitions Committee from many countries – in the spirit of preaching the “best interest” of children but not practicing it.
    1. members of the Petitions Committee had already gone on ‘fact finding visits’ to Denmark and Germany;
    2. eight members visited London on 05/06 November 2015;
    3. these MEPs produced a 15-page report based on the 13 petitions;
    4. a Working Group to focus on Children’s Right was established within the Petitions Committee.
    1. MEPs belong to one of eight political groups – the equivalent of parties;
    2. Questions with Oral Answer were prepared for the EU Commission and for the EU Council;
    3. a Motion for Resolution was written across all political groups;
    4. the topic got on the Agenda for a Plenary Debate: Point 20.
  5. Pavel SvobodaThe PLENARY DEBATE on 27 AprilCecilia Wikstrom
    1. was introduced by the Chair of the LEGAL Committee Pavel Svoboda MEP and the Chair of the PETITIONS Committee Cecilia Wikstrom MEP;
    2. it took one hour with contributions by 27 MEPs from 18 countries;
    3. here’s the video recording with the names of the speakers. [On Windows 7 I need to use Internet Explorer to view it with Media Player.]
  6. VOTING on 28 April
    1. the Motion for a Resolution to be voted on [point 5] with single majority;
    2. the 28 action points and recommendations.
    1. Point 28:  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and the parliaments of the Member States.

Please note also the reference to an EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child!

Posted in EU Agenda for the Rights of the Child, EU Commission, EU Parliament, Forced Adoption, Petition, Petitioning, Petitions Committee, Public Interest Advocacy, Stolen Children of the UK | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments