Back to the Future

 

2.1    In the United Kingdom we have a society that has got no moral compass and no sense of direction.  It has become worse under New Labour during the past eleven years.  The Conservatives are equally to blame.  For more than forty years the family has been undermined with the Divorce Reform Act 1969 and the Childrens Act 1989.  More recently the emphasis on the rights of the child has overridden the rights of parents and resulted in new Government initiatives – such as, Every Child Matters – where the school as agent for the Government has usurped the role of parents.  The legislation that has given recognition to civil partnerships has also led on to the introduction of sexual orientation regulations, giving homosexuals additional civil rights that override the human rights of heterosexuals.  The Abortion Act 1967 and the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Acts 1990 and 2008 are a denial of the Right to Life affirmed by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.  The list goes on and it will get worse, unless we turn things around.

2.2    We will promote legislation that clearly defines and interprets the provisions of our commitments under UN charters, conventions and declarations.  Due consideration must be given to; the right to life of every human being, from conception to natural death, each child having the right to be conceived, born and educated within the family, based on marriage between a woman and a man, the family being the natural and fundamental group unit of society; and the right to be educated by his/her parents, who have a prior and fundamental right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

2.3    We will propose amendments to the Childrens Act; to reverse the provision of clause 2(4) which abolished the rule that a father is the natural guardian of his legitimate child; remove the institutional discrimination against fathers to give real effect to the joint parental responsibility of married parents contained in clause 2(1); remove the additional statutory financial burden placed on a divorced father for the education of his adult children while denying him access to them; and recognise that a father’s financial support for his children up to the age of 18 is not isolated from his access to them.

2.4    We will reform the Divorce Reform Act to remove the single ground – irretrievable breakdown – which has never been legally defined, is abused, and results in an open door to divorce on demand.  We will reinstate the serious factual causes as defined grounds, but exclude the subjective personal belief of unreasonable behaviour which is emotional.  We will ensure that the Act is applied as set down in statute; ban special procedures which results in an administrative process of divorce – where blame is denied and no evidence is presented, but the court does not examine the allegations.  We will make it easier to contest a divorce action as it is currently impossible to defend a divorce petition and costs are automatically awarded to the petitioner; by abolishing court fees for filing a defence; by making each party responsible for their own costs and introducing awards against petitioners for malicious and unfounded actions.  Judges would have to conduct hearings as part of a tribunal with two lay assessors.

2.5       We would conduct a comprehensive review of legislation and enquire into the composition and remit of the Law Commission.

November 2008

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