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Entries in lobbying (1)

Thursday
Oct062011

Scottish Government agrees action on cross order jurisdiction

Roseanna Cunningham, Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs has
agreed to take steps to increase awareness of proper procedure in family
law cases where children are taken from Scotland to England or Wales
without the agreement of the other parent.

The problem arises when courts in England or Wales wrongly assume
jurisdiction in cases of this type, rather than returning the case to be
heard in Scotland.

Following a recent meeting with Families Need Fathers Scotland at which this
issue was raised, Ms Cunningham will issue fresh guidance on
cross-border jurisdiction, and she will also raise the issue with the
UK Ministry of Justice.

Families Need Fathers Scotland  pointed out to the Minister that it can
be easier to have children returned from the other side of the world
than from England.

"We are grateful to the Scottish Government for taking action on this
issue," commented Ian Maxwell from FNF Scotland.

"We  know of several recent cases in which fathers have found it either
very difficult or impossible to have children returned to Scotland from
south of the Border"

"If Scottish children are taken outside the UK without permission or in
breach of a court order, they would be returned promptly  to the
Scotland under the provisions of the Hague Convention on child
abduction."

In their first meeting with the Minister, Families Need Fathers Scotland
also raised issues about Parental Rights and Responsibilities and access
to legal aid and explained how our work in Scotland is developing,
including the emphasis on promoting shared care as a way of ensuring
both parents are involved with their children after separation.