Amendments proposed to the Children and Adoption Bill [Lords], As Amended - continued House of Commons

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Lord Chancellor's pilot scheme

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC23

To move the following Clause:—

    '(1)   The Lord Chancellor shall require the President of the Family Division to run a pilot scheme which will intervene before a court makes a child contact order.

    (2)   The President of the Family Division shall designate courts to participate within the scheme.

    (3)   Courts designated under this subsection must issue—

      (a) a set of guidelines, indicating in broad terms the levels of contact appropriate in the main categories of cases, in the absence of good reason to the contrary, accompanied by an enjoinder to maintain reasonable contact wherever possible;

      (b) the date of the first hearing;

      (c) an instruction to attend a meeting with a court-appointed mediator to develop a parenting plan which must include the amount of time each party will spend with the child;

      (d) an explanation that parties who do not file the agreed parenting plan must then—

      (i) attend a parent education meeting, and

      (ii) attend contact-focused dispute resolution and mediation as decided by the court appointed mediator,

      before the parties may continue with any application for a contact order; and

      (e) a statement that litigation should be a last resort.

    (4)   The court shall take into account the willingness of each parent to participate in the scheme when making subsequent child contact orders.

    (5)   The pilot scheme shall start no later than six months after this Act receives Royal Assent and shall run for no longer than two years and no less than eighteen months.

    (6)   Within six months of the end of the pilot scheme the President of the Family Division must present to the Lord Chancellor an evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of such a scheme.'.


Presumption of reasonable contact in the absence of good reason to the contrary

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

NC24

To move the following Clause:—

    'After section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989 (c.41) insert—

          "(1A)   In respect of subsection 1(1) above, subject to good reason to the contrary and where the safety of the child is not an issue, the court shall act on the presumption that the child's interests are best served through reasonable contact with both of his parents whether or not he is resident with either parent.

          (1B)   In determining what "reasonable contact" is in respect of subsection (1A) the court shall have regard to the desirability of—

          (a) contact facilitating a positive and fulfilling relationship between the parent and the child;

          (b) frequent contact;

          (c) contact lasting for lengthy time periods;

          (d) contact with siblings; and

          (e) contact with extended family."'.


Default contact arrangements

   

Annette Brooke
Mark Williams

NC25

To move the following Clause:—

    'Schedule (New Schedule 1) (which makes provision for default contact arrangements) has effect.'.


   

Mr David Kidney

15

Page     2,     line     10     [Clause     1],     at end insert—

    '(5A)   Any information or advice given under subsection (5)(b) about making arrangements for contact with a child by means of mediation shall be given by an accredited mediator.'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

14

Page     2     [Clause     1],     leave out line 14.


   

Margaret Moran

21

Page     7,     line     22     [Clause     4],     at end insert—

    '(3A)   In deciding whether a person had reasonable excuse for failing to comply with a contact order, the court shall consider—

      (a) the wishes and feelings of the child;

      (b) any concerns about the safety of the child; and

      (c) any concerns about the safety of any member of the child's family.'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

11

Page     7,     line     25     [Clause     4],     at end insert—

    '(4A)   When considering whether to make an enforcement order, the Court shall have regard to the principle that, subject to the welfare of the child, the court acts on the presumption that a child's welfare is best served through reasonable contact with both his parents unless good reason to the contrary is shown.'.

   

Annette Brooke
Mark Williams

18

Page     7,     line     25     [Clause     4],     at end insert—

    '( )   When considering whether the person has a reasonable excuse the welfare of the child is to be the court's paramount consideration.'.


   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

6

Page     8,     line     30     [Clause     4],     leave out '18' and insert '16'.


   

Margaret Moran
Annette Brooke
Ms Sally Keeble
Ms Diana R. Johnson
Mr David Kidney

16

Page     9,     line     15     [Clause     4],     at end insert—

    '(5A)   A court that proposes to make an enforcement order must order for the separate representation of the child, unless it is satisfied that it is not necessary to do so in order to safeguard his interests.'.


   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

10

Page     10,     line     26     [Clause     5],     leave out subsections (7) and (8).


   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

7

Page     11,     line     17     [Clause     5],     leave out '18' and insert '16'.


   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

20

Page     12,     line     2,     leave out Clause 7.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

13

Page     12,     line     14     [Clause     7],     leave out 'cause' and insert 'reasonable grounds'.

   

Margaret Moran
Annette Brooke
Ms Sally Keeble
Ms Diana R. Johnson
Mr David Kidney

17

Page     12,     line     17     [Clause     7],     at end insert—

    '(2A)   Upon receiving a risk assessment the court should consider the need for the separate representation of the child and his interests within the proceedings.'.

   

Annette Brooke
Mark Williams

19

Page     12,     line     20     [Clause     7],     after 'child', insert 'and an assessment of the differential impact upon the child of the options available to the court'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

8

Page     12,     line     20     [Clause     7],     at end insert—

    '(4)   All risk assessments undertaken pursuant to subsection (2) shall proceed on the presumption that the child's interests are best served through reasonable contact with both his parents unless a good reason to the contrary is shown.

    (5)   When deciding whether there is reason to suspect that a child is at risk of harm, an officer of the service or a Welsh proceedings officer may only make a risk assessment where he has reasonable grounds to suspect that there is a significant risk of significant harm.

    (6)   An officer of the service or a Welsh proceedings officer may only make a risk assessment where he has reasonable grounds to suspect that the significant risk involves a risk—

      (a) to the child's physical safety, or

      (b) of sexual abuse.

    (7)   In all other circumstances than those outlined in subsections (5) and (6), the Officer of the Service or a Welsh proceedings officer shall not undertake a risk assessment except where directed to do so by a court.

    (8)   In any risk assessment based upon the likelihood of recurrence of previous risks it shall be a requirement that no reliance is placed upon previous events or previous risks in the absence of a finding of fact that those events or risks actually occurred.'.


   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

2

Page     13,     line     21     [Clause     9],     leave out subsection (3) and insert—

    '(3)   Before making an order in the case of a country or territory which is a Convention country, the Secretary of State shall consult the Hague Conference.'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

1

Page     13,     line     29     [Clause     9],     at end insert—

      '(c) the central authority in the country or territory to which restrictions are to apply.'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

3

Page     13,     line     33     [Clause     9],     after 'country', insert ', which should include an explanation of why the practices in the relevant country or territory have led him to believe that it would be contrary to public policy to further the bringing of children into the United Kingdom in the cases mentioned in subsection (2).'.

   

Tim Loughton
Mrs Maria Miller
Mr Stewart Jackson
Jeremy Wright
Mr David Evennett

22

Page     13,     line     33     [Clause     9],     at end insert 'to include regular reviews on why that declaration should still apply'.

 
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Prepared 20 Jun 2006