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Entries in Janys Scott (1)

Thursday
Jun022011

How the law views fathers in Scotland

Janys Scott speaking at Glasgow Art ClubAt a well-attended event organised to mark the first year of work by the Families Need Fathers office in Scotland and the success of the Glagow FNF Branch, Janys Scott QC delivered a presentation on the changes in the way fathers have been viewed in Scottish family law. 

Her own recent cases include the successful challenge to the Children (Scotland) Act 1995 on human rights grounds (Principal Reporter v K).  This December 2010 decision now requires courts and children's hearings to read that legislation in a different way in respect of unmarried fathers without parental rights who have established family life with their children.

Her discussion of decisions since Lord Dunpark's very negatve 1986 decision to award custody to a mother and refuse the father access in Porchetta v Porchetta illustrated the positive direction law for fathers has taken over the last 25 years. 

A father's value is now more fully recognised and the terminology is less negative in the Scottish courts in cases involving contact and residence, although her presentation and the discussion afterwards revealed that there are still a wide range of legal and social issues to be resolved.  Fathers from Glasgow FNF group gave their own examples of difficulty in seeing or maintaining contact with their children.

Text of the presentation is now available, and film of the event will be uploaded soon.