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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 10:49 GMT 11:49 UK
Children's views sought on courts
A girl typing
The forum aims to gather the opinions of children on family courts
Youngsters are being asked to give their views online about proposals to make family courts more child-friendly.

The Department for Constitutional Affairs (DCA) wants children's comments on plans to improve care proceedings and parents' separation hearings.

The young people's online forum runs until 9 October.

The new proposals say judges should speak to children involved in parental separation cases, and offers guidelines for their own legal representation.

Civil servants will feed children's comments into the wider government consultation process.

Opinions considered

Constitutional Affairs minister Harriet Harman said: "The online forum will enable children to tell the DCA what they think of these proposals, and whether they think they would help them.

"A child's life can be irrevocably affected by a decision of the family courts and I want their opinions to be fully considered as we develop plans to improve the family courts."

Young people will be able to use online aliases to give their views anonymously and the moves will also allow children to request full information - once they reach adulthood - about judgements involving them.

Comments will be moderated to ensure no information that could identify children can be viewed by others.


SEE ALSO
Family Court reforms
25 Jul 06 |  Law in Action
Call to create family court tour
29 Jun 06 |  Scotland

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