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Old 16th Sep 2004, 11:22   #51
gil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Self
All courts with the exception of family courts and a very few exceptional criminal trials are held in open court
Does that mean that all Family Court proceedings are in camera, and all litigants alphabetised? If so, that forms a basis for accusations of Star Chamber behaviour.

Is there an appeal procedure? Can a disappointed litigant take his appeal to a higher court? If not, that sounds iffy too.

I know it's nice to protect the children, but, let's face it, the children of bank robbers, paedophiles and drunk drivers have their parents' dirty linen brought out in open court. What's so sacred about divorce and custody matters?
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 11:31   #52
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No offence intended, Eve, but are you always so confrontational? despite what some people say Wavid isn't actually the Antichrist, though he can be a bit of an anarchist. :)

Anyway, I think most people in this country would accept that apart from cases where it's useful to protect children or in the national security interest courts should be open to the public to ensure that the justice process is transparent. This is not the same as it being televised (and for the record you're the one who brought cameras up), as this does tend to lead to these big Ami showtrials with the viewing public the ultimate jury. This is only one step away from the audience literally phoning in, Bigbrother-like to decide the verdict and sentence.

EDIT: If this seems out of sequence I started this before Gil but then had to answer the phone.
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 11:51   #53
Eve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakunin_the_cat
No offence intended, Eve, but are you always so confrontational? despite what some people say Wavid isn't actually the Antichrist, though he can be a bit of an anarchist. :)
none taken :wink: The funny thing is I actually agree with what Wavid was saying. I merely picked up a point raised by someone else and drew it out.

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Anyway, I think most people in this country would accept that apart from cases where it's useful to protect children or in the national security interest courts should be open to the public to ensure that the justice process is transparent. This is not the same as it being televised (and for the record you're the one who brought cameras up), as this does tend to lead to these big Ami showtrials with the viewing public the ultimate jury. This is only one step away from the audience literally phoning in, Bigbrother-like to decide the verdict and sentence.

EDIT: If this seems out of sequence I started this before Gil but then had to answer the phone.
I know I brought it up. :)
I am saying it is just the issue of scale that is different. We already have trial by media. People discuss the case whether in a public gallery, live on tv or via tabloid or tv. What could be more transparent than having a case shown to the nation rahter than a reporters spin? :wink: As it is now we have local and national press reporting on cases and making it enertainment, example, on the same day a local man who is well involved with sports gets sentenced for a drink driving offence three men were convicted of murder. Which one do you think got the front page?

On the whole, my dealings with the press have not shown them in the best light.
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Old 16th Sep 2004, 19:29   #54
John Self
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil
Does that mean that all Family Court proceedings are in camera, and all litigants alphabetised? If so, that forms a basis for accusations of Star Chamber behaviour.
Yes, all Family Court proceedings are held in camera. Even lawyers unconnected to the case being heard are excluded from the court. However I believe litigants are only alphabetised if the case is reported, so in family law casebooks there will be references to, say, the case of Re: H (a minor) or whatever. It's worth pointing out perhaps that these family courts deal only with two types of case: private applications (where a parent or indeed grandparent wants a contact order, residence order, parental responsibility order, prohibited steps order or specific issue order in relation to the child(ren) of the family) and public applications (where the local authority is seeking to have children put under protection and/or taken off the parents etc.). They only deal with cases involving children. Maybe I am too close to it but I really don't see the objection to having these cases which are centred on children - the point being, as I mentioned earlier, that they are the subject of the case but had no say in the court case being brought - held in private.

I may be misinterpreting the accusation but I don't think the Star Chamber suggestion holds water if by that you mean the use of a court as a political tool of the powers-that-be. The family courts do not start proceedings of their own motion and all parties have their own legal representation.

Quote:
Is there an appeal procedure? Can a disappointed litigant take his appeal to a higher court? If not, that sounds iffy too.
Yes the aggrieved party can appeal as of right to the Family Care Centre and thereafter, on a point of law, to the High Court or Court of Appeal (as in any civil proceedings).

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I know it's nice to protect the children, but, let's face it, the children of bank robbers, paedophiles and drunk drivers have their parents' dirty linen brought out in open court. What's so sacred about divorce and custody matters?
Well very few divorces are actually heard at all, in the sense of being contested - almost all are undefended, and in fact I've never been involved in or even known of one that has been contested. The adult matters, like divorce and ancillary relief (financial settlement after divorce) are not restricted in the same way anyway - they are held in camera but the names of the parties are public and the outcomes can be reported. The difference is that with those cases - as with the examples you mention - it's the parents who are the subject of the case. With the custody (or residence as it's now known) battles etc, the children are the subject of the case, ref my comments above.
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Old 20th Sep 2004, 12:13   #55
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Thanks, John, that's a lot clearer to me now.
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Old 20th Sep 2004, 17:01   #56
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Default Pro-hunt demonstration

Funny quote from TV news yesterday (unfortunately I forgot to note the mans name) but he said something like "We will carry on hunting...and excersice our rights, this is supposed to be a democracy!"

Obviously only when the decision of the democracy suits you sir!

Maybe I will only abide by the laws [i]I agree with from now on too.

Honestly, some people really do think they are above the law don't they? ( I wish I had got his name).
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Old 21st Sep 2004, 11:11   #57
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But there is also an honourable tradition of defying unjust laws (many millions did with the Poll Tax, for example. Mind you, look what we got instead.). Not that I personally consider this to be such a case, I should add.
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