Judge: council did not violate father’s human rights
May 5, 2017 1 comment
Cornwall Council did not violate a father’s human rights during a child contact dispute, a High Court Judge has declared.
The father claimed that he had been prevented from spending time with his son because the local authority objected to his views on gay marriage and abortion which he had expressed online. He insisted this action breached his rights under the Human Rights Act 1998.
In a blog post, the man referred to a child of eight months as “hardly what you’d call a ‘person’ yet” which caused concern among police and social workers. However, Mr Justice Dingemans pointed out that this was not intended to be read literally. The man had been “attempting to parody arguments of those in favour of abortion” but had failed to explain himself.
The Judge was not convinced by the father’s argument that his opinions on the subjects of abortion and gay marriage had been the main reason for the local authority’s decision. He said that had the council made a recommendation to limit the man’s contact with his son solely based on these views “it would not have been lawful”.
But Mr Justice Dingemans said he was convinced that the social workers believed their action would be in the child’s best interests. They had come to this conclusion having met with the father. Additionally, he insisted that if the council had believed in-person contact would benefit the boy, they would have recommended that it take place.
This decision “was not made because of impermissible gender bias” but because the mother was in the best position to care for the child, the Judge added. He concluded that there had been no breach and subsequently dismissed the claim.
Read A v Cornwall Council in full here.
Photo by Till Westermayer via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence.
May 5, 2017
Categories: Family Law