This post is sometimes pinned to the top of the blog.
The grievance of guest blogger Gagged Dad, the author of
Two year-old’s contact stopped with homophobic dad
is mentioned in all of these posts.
After a court case in the UK that lasted more than four years, Gagged Dad’s grievance became expressed as an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The important pages of that ECtHR application, outlining the facts and putting the legal arguments, are here.
The full ECtHR application is published here.
Gagged Dad had hoped that the ECtHR would answer “yes” to the following questions, to which the High Court in the UK had failed to answer “yes”:
- Does social work under the Children Act have to be fair, for it to be lawful? The trial judge in the British High Court had ruled that the social work hadn’t complied with the Common Law Rules of Natural Justice, but had failed to rule, as the Claimant had argued he therefore should, that the unfairness he thus found in the social work had amounted to a breach of Gagged Dad’s Convention rights.
- Does social work in the UK have to comply with the Public Sector Equality Duty? For example by being conducted with due regard to the need to foster good relations between those with protected characteristics (e.g. members of one sex) and those without them (i.e. members of the opposite sex).
- Does treating somebody less favourably because of how strongly he or she holds and expresses his or her beliefs, amount to unlawful discrimination on the grounds of belief? Just as it would, that is, to treat him or her less favourably because of what he or she believed.
The ECtHR has ruled Gagged Dad’s application inadmissible.
This tempts the rhetorical question, what use is the ECtHR, if it rules inadmissible an application with content as relevant as this application had, to the best interests of the countless child victims each year of family separation?
The failure of the trial judge in the High Court, and now of the ECtHR, to answer “yes” to these questions, means that new statute law is needed, or new case law, or new guidance from the Secretary of State and/or the senior judiciary, to ensure that never again are any of these three questions answered “no” in a British court, or ignored when a party raises them, as Gagged Dad did, as the whole of his case!
The exhaustion of Gagged Dad’s potential domestic routes to a remedy without his obtaining a remedy, and the ruling in Strasbourg that Gagged Dad’s application to the ECtHR was inadmissible, proves that, one way or another, whether by primary legislation or otherwise, justice demands a change in the law, or clarification of the law, in the UK. I intend to call this necessary change in, or clarification of the law, “Gagged Dad’s law“.
Who is with me?