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Articles tagged with: child protection

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[ 27 Feb 2014 | One Comment ]
Child neglect law – unnecessary tinkering, unintended consequences

By Robert Bryan
The Child Maltreatment Bill has barely progressed towards the statute book – and perhaps with good reason.
This Private Member’s Bill, presented to the House on the 19th June 2013, is due for its second reading in the House of Commons on the 28th February 2014.
It is being brought in an attempt to change perceived “outdated” child neglect laws to include emotional and psychological abuse. The Bill professes to, “make provision about the physical and emotional welfare of children”. It does so by amendment and substitution of new ss …

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[ 17 Feb 2014 | No Comment ]
Smoking ban in cars – right idea, wrong execution

By Michelle Heeley
MPs were given a free vote last week on whether they wanted to create a law making it illegal to smoke in a car whilst a child is present.
They voted in favour, although it has not yet been decided what the penalty for the offence will be – one Labour MP proposed a £60 fine.
But, is the offence necessary?
Research has shown that smoking in a car is far more harmful to a child (or indeed any person) than second home smoke from around the home. The reason is …

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[ 4 Feb 2014 | Comments Off ]
Keir Starmer’s call for a “Victims’ Law” – all heart and no substance

By Felicity Gerry
“From a victim’s point of view, our justice system is hardly fit for purpose.. “What is needed is a fundamental rethink, leading to a specific and legally enforceable Victims’ Law, alongside a real and radical shift in attitude and approach.”
So wrote former DPP Sir Kier Starmer QC in an article for the Guardian yesterday in which he proposed a “Victims’ Law”.
He set out how hard it is for victims of crime, particularly sexual and violent crime, to report their suffering and to go through the court process.
However, he …

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[ 8 Jan 2014 | Comments Off ]
Smacking: what is the law and should it be changed?

By Rebecca Carter
Calls have been made for the government to ban smacking children.
In an interview with the Independent, the Children’s Commissioner for England, Maggie Atkinson, has expressed her view that smacking should be banned. “Because in law you are forbidden from striking another adult, and from physically chastising your pets”, she said, “but somehow there is a loophole around the fact that you can physically chastise your child.”
Speaking to the Telegraph, the Head of Child Protection Operations at the NSPCC, John Cameron, has urged for reform of the law: “It …

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[ 18 Dec 2013 | Comments Off ]
Sentencing sexual offenders – a lost opportunity?

By Felicity Gerry, Catarina Sjölin and Lyndon Harris
The Sentencing Council has issued a new Guideline in relation to sexual offences this month. The aim: “to help ensure appropriate and consistent sentences for sex offenders”, says the accompanying press release.
The Guideline covers more than 50 sexual offences and is “the largest and most complex” that the Sentencing Council has ever produced, but does it go far enough?
The Sentencing Council has made it plain that victims are central to the issue of sentencing. They have, for example, ensured that guideline sentences for rape …