Family law cases that involve allegations of child abuse to be heard in front of a jury

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!

Samantha Baldwin
Samantha Baldwin signed this petition

Child abuse allegations are without doubt one of the most serious allegations to be made. However, the England and Wales Family Court have sanctioned the placement of many children in the most harmful of situations: living in the sole custody of the parent they alleged serious sexual/ physical/ emotional/ mental abuse against.

At the moment we live in a culture of family court judges being trained to be suspicious of parents bringing child abuse (especially sexual abuse) into the court. A jury of 12 people, as are used within a Criminal Court setting, would be much less likely to be biased towards one parent or party. Juries are selected from a cross section of society, including different ages, genders and backgrounds. 

Family court should be offering the option of the case to be heard in front of a jury, in the same way as criminal court, due to the extremely serious nature of the allegations.

The purpose of a jury is to render an impartial verdict and this would be much more likely than with a judge, who often takes preference over one parent.

Whilst it is appreciated that jury's would not be required in all cases brought before the Family Court, it is essential that in serious family law cases whereby child abuse is alleged, the parties should have the option of choosing to have their case heard before a jury rather than just a single judge. 

Therefore you are urged to sign this petition.