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UK Select Justice Committee

The Justice Committee is appointed by the House of Commons to examine the expenditure, administration and policy of the Ministry of Justice (to include the work of staff provided for
the administrative work of courts and tribunals, but excluding consideration of individual cases and appointments, and excluding the work of the Scotland and Wales Offices and of the Advocate General for Scotland).
The Committee chooses its own subjects of inquiry. Depending on the subject, external deadlines, and the amount of oral evidence the Committee decides to take, an inquiry may last for several months and give rise to a report to the House; other inquiries may simply consist of a single day’s oral evidence which the Committee may publish without making a report.

In July 2012 the Chair of the Justice Select Committee, the Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP contacted the UK Prime Minister David Cameron to oppose the Government’s proposals on Shared Parenting legislation because he stated;
To promote Shared Parenting through legislation undermines the paramount principle of the welfare of the child;There was no evidence to suggest that Judges were not starting from a position in favour of contact being maintained with both parents;The majority of applications resulting in no contact were
abandoned by the applicant parent;It would be wrong, by a change in the law, to imply that parents have rights over children rather than responsibilities for children;A legislative statement, however drafted, which inserts concepts for furthering “involvement”, will be equated in the minds of warring parents as a right to equality of time;The Australian evidence showed that cases where the child’s or parent’s safety was at risk were not being effectively filtered out of the Shared Parenting scheme by the courts;The proposal takes little account of the fact that 90% of separating parents do not use the courts, and that the remaining 10% of cases that do reach court are frequently those with multiple problems. Attempting to further parental involvement in this 10% of cases by changing legislation is to fundamentally
misunderstand the nature of the issues in these cases;Contrary to the stated aim of reducing the number of court cases, the Australian experience showed that the insertion of a legislative statement was likely to lead to some parents being less willing to negotiate and resolve arguments over child contact outside court; andExtensive litigation seems likely to result from parties litigating to reconcile two competing principles – the welfare of the child and the duty to promote Shared Parenting.
The 'Australian experience' has in reality demonstrated how Shared Parenting legislation boosted children's rights. Contrary to the assertions there is no increase in safety risks to separated parents or children and the number of cases going before the courts has declined.
In particular the Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP states,
'There was no evidence to suggest that Judges were not starting from a position in favour of contact being maintained with both parents'.
Yet he appeared on the BBC Woman’s Hour radio program to reassure mothers and stated
You do no good if you put, for example, a woman in prison for persistent failure to obey court orders'.
This view is evidence that the Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP shares the same prejudice that he says does not exist in UK family proceedings which is incompatible with his role as Chairman of the Committee. Therefore the father contacted the Secretary to the Justice Committee to seek the resignation of Sir Alan as Chairman.