Judge: council did not violate father’s human rights

family law

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.

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Paul - May 5, 2017 at 11:57pm

The mother was in the best possition to care for the child ??? – sounds like an utterly none existant reason to me. A clear example of gender bias. His ex missus is in a possition where she can claim X amount in state benefit. She will be eligable for social housing so here bills would be minimum. She can move a new partner in and benefit for his wage and she will be able to claim 20% of his wages through the CMS. Your not kidding when you say she will be in a better possition. That reasoning could seperate any father at any time from his kids. This state interferance gone mad. If the man is not a criminal and hes not threat to the child then he deserves a chance to be the best father he can. This is not a game. Children benefit massively from a fathers influance the statistics bear this out completly.x
I have paid no soliciter so I am expecting a stupid verdict much the same as this one.
World has gone mad….

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