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Entries for August 2009:

Child Abductions on the Increase

19 Aug 2009, 15:07 by Pauline Walker

Labels: abduction, barrister, children-act, family, family-law, lawyer

Government figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 show a significant increase in the number of child abductions compared with 2005. The figures for 2008 show a 20% increase on the number of abductions from 2005 with almost 500 children taken abroad illegally. This represents a 93% increase compared to figures for 1995. Of the 336 cases reported to the authorities in the UK, most children were taken to Pakistan (30 cases), followed by the USA (23), Ireland (22) and Spain (21). Other destinations that featured highly were Egypt, France and Australia. 134 of the cases involved children being taken to non-Hague Convention countries.

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Discrimination: Amnesty International v Ahmed

19 Aug 2009, 12:44 by Pauline Walker

Labels: constructive-dismissal, employee, employment, race-discrimination, race-relations

On 13 August 2009 the EAT gave its decision in Amnesty International v Ahmed (UKEAT/0447/08/ZT). The case concerned Ahmed, a Sudanese woman, who was refused promotion to the position of Sudan Researcher by Amnesty as they believed that such an appointment would compromise their perceived impartiality and therefore their effectiveness. She resigned and claimed for race discrimination and constructive dismissal.

In their judgment, upholding the original tribunal's decision the EAT stated that this behaviour constituted direct discrimination contrary to sections 1(1)(a) and 4(2)(b) of the Race Relations Act 1976 as the decision not to appoint her was based solely on her ethnic origin and despite Amnesty's potentially justifiable reasons. (James v Eastleigh Borough Council [1990] 2 AC 751 applied). The claim for constructive dismissal failed.

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Family law hearings in public

10 Aug 2009, 13:19 by Rebecca Fitton-Brown

Labels: ancillary-relief, barrister, care, family-law, family-proceedings, media, publication, residence

The Family Proceeding Rules have been amended to allow access to family proceedings by the media and any other person allowed by the court. So you may now find journalists attending your care or residence or ancillary relief case! It is not clear what other persons may be allowed. There is an exception for "judicially assisted conciliation." Restrictions on publication continue to apply.

 Written by Rebecca Fitton-Brown, barrister at New Walk Chambers, specialising in family law.

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