‘Fat’ family’s legal fight to get children out of care
- Published: Wednesday, 23 September 2009 11:48
An eminent expert witness told Jackie Kemp that paedophile cases in Scotland are being dropped due to flawed interview techniques. This is actually an addition I filed to the piece in the Herald below but it was too late to make the paper.
What they long for is people who care' - Education Guardian
Kathleen Marshall, the first UK children's commissioner to leave office, tells Jackie Kemp she has never been a fan of playing safe
The ground-floor office a few doors up from the Scottish parliament on Edinburgh's Holyrood Road has neat venetian blinds and two doors. One is unashamedly dull. The second, smaller door, is shiny, has a bejewelled handle, and is painted with images of mermaids and enchanted forests. Just inside, where other offices have coatstands, is a cardboard wishing tree. Someone has written on one of its paper leaves in a round, firm hand: "I wish I had more one-to-one time with key children."
The celebrated South African judge is still setting liberal precedents with a ruling that parents should not be sent to jail, because of their children's rights - which, he tells Jackie Kemp, has important lessons for the UK.
This was published in the Herald in 2004. I wonder how much has changed in the family court system?
It is easy to mock the press. But often it is journalists who help the victims of miscarriages of justice. In court, it is easy to forget that the press bench is one of the most important fixtures. The jury and the press representing ordinary people are vital for justice to be seen to be done. G K Chesterton wrote that among officials of the court it is only the jury who can really picture what it might be like to be the man in the dock, who may be innocent. To the others it is simply ''the usual man in the usual place''.
This a slightly abridged text of the lecture given by the ANC veteran and South African constitutional court judge Albie Sachs at the National Gallery of Scotland on June 25 2009 in Edinburgh, transcribed from my shorthand note.