What have human rights done for family justice?

News Release

13 Mar 2010

For immediate release: Saturday 13th March 2010

Speaking at the Resolution annual conference Mr Justice Andrew Moylan reviewed 10 years of the Human Rights Act and its implications for the operation of family law.

Noting that the powers of the family court are amongst the most drastic of any court, as ultimately it has the power to remove a child from their parents, Mr Justice Moylan questioned whether the European Convention and Human Rights Act deserve the criticism they sometimes receive.

In his speech, Mr Justice Moylan argued that the rights to privacy, fair trial and freedom of expression have permeated many aspects of family law and become common features in family proceedings over the last ten years:

“There has been a review of many aspects of the family legal system, consequent on the effective incorporation into our domestic system of the substantive and procedural rights guaranteed by the European Convention. In addition, and importantly, the procedural safeguards implicit in Article 8 (right to a private and a family life) extend to decisions made outside the legal system. In the family arena, the reach of the Convention is broad.”

Mr Justice Moylan concluded that:

“The balancing framework provided by the (Human Rights) Act enhances the administration of justice, both substantively and procedurally.”

A full copy of Mr Justice Moylan’s speech is available here.

Notes to editors

1.Mr Justice Moylan was addressing the Resolution National Conference, which takes place from 12-14 March 2010 at the Midland Hotel in Manchester.

2. Resolution is a group of over 5500 family lawyers in England and Wales. Established 25 years ago, it promotes a non-confrontational, constructive approach to resolving family disputes. To find out more, visit http://www.resolution.org.uk/

-ENDS-

For more information please contact:

Teresa Richardson, Resolution Head of Communications: 0203 195 0190 or Mobile: 07894 981 020

Leonora Merry, Resolution Communications Officer: 0203 195 0191 or Mobile: 07971 300 024