Round and round the mulberry bush

AuthorC. H. Mckibbin
PositionDistrict Judge (Magistrates' Courts), Northern Ireland
2010] Round and round the mulberry bush 1
or, The rationale for, and the practicalities of, the new public law
outlines and children order advisory committee guidelines
relating to case management in family proceedings
in Northern Ireland
Many of us here today, if not all, are married. Most of us
have children. Those of us who do, I can say without a shred of
doubt, love our children dearly and would do nothing which
might have any adverse consequences for them. In short, we want
the best for “our kids”.
So, it is alleged, does the law and so, apparently, do our
politicians. The Minister for Children in Westminster not so very
long ago was heard to aver that for the British Government our
children are our most important priority. No doubt similar
utterances can be traced back to Dáil Eireann. My unhesitating
response to this is negative. I have yet to hear of a government
minister – certainly in Northern Ireland – and I include indeed all
our M.L.A.s at Stormont from all parties in this – prioritising our
children’s welfare in terms of direct legislation which materially
affects the basic welfare of children in our jurisdiction over other
matters of what they would think of as “of more pressing need”.
In Northern Ireland we have had the Bamford Report which
stressed the urgency of funding a facility in Northern Ireland
which is designed specifically for the mental health care of our
children, especially those in severely disadvantaged areas,
who have suffered trauma as a direct result of our euphemistically
titled “Troubles” over the past 40 years or more. You may very
well ask: “Who is Bamford?” and “What has become of his
report?”, which, be it said, is still talked of in Stormont
occasionally as something which the Government of the day is
* District Judge (Magistrates’ Courts), Northern Ireland.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT