Inquisitorial judges at heart of family reform proposals

first_imgGreater case management by judges is at the heart of the judiciary’s proposals for the modernisation of family justice, published today. Mr Justice Ryder, the judge in charge of the family court modernisation process accompanying the Crime and Courts Bill, set out his plans to improve the workings of family courts this morning. The bill currently before parliament provides for a new single family court to replace and simplify existing arrangements. Its launch will provide the vehicle for the modernisation programme. The aim is for the court to have a new structure, with its work directly managed by the judiciary and where all levels of judge and magistrate are members of the same court, sitting as ‘judges of the family court’. The High Court will remain separate and its jurisdiction preserved. The plan follows themes set out in a speech given by Ryder last month. These include proposals to manage cases closely, identifying key issues and making sure timetables are followed with parties penalised for failing to comply, and greater scrutiny of experts. Under the new regime, judges will adopt an inquisitorial approach to family cases, limiting cross-examination by the parties themselves, to deal with the volume of litigants in person expected once legal aid is withdrawn for most private law family cases. One of the ‘immediate challenges’, the report says, is how to develop effective methods of assisting litigants in person in private law cases while maintaining fairness to all parties. It says that a ‘consistent but firm approach’ will be developed to litigants, whether represented or not, to ensure that issues remain in focus and are addressed within the timetable set by the court, with sanctions including fixed costs being paid by parties for non-compliance. A private law pathway will be published to describe what a court can and cannot do and how it does it. ‘In a conventional case there may be restrictions on the right of one party to cross-examine another, relying on each party having their say, then the judge identifying further issues and asking questions him or herself,’ it says. One if the key aims of the changes is to reduce delays in the system, and essential to that will be more effective management of existing judicial resources with more continuity and better listing practices. To better manage public law cases, there will be rule and practice direction changes, known as pathways, relating to the use of experts and a timetable track which will presume that non-exceptional cases can be completed in 26 weeks. A statement of principles of evidence to use in children proceedings will explain that other than adversarial fact-finding where necessary, the judge’s function in determining the welfare of the child is investigative. Ryder’s report says that the judge is in control will decide what is to be determined, what evidence is necessary for that decision to be made and how it is to be tested before the court. On plans for greater openness and transparency of the family justice system, Ryder says that arguments for the confidentiality of proceedings are balanced by arguments for the need for a family court to explain and demonstrate its decision-making. Ryder’s recommendations were today endorsed by the lord chief justice Lord Judge. He said: ‘The traditional model of the judge as a passive arbiter, holding the ring between the protagonists, allowing the parties to adduce whatever evidence they wish and however relevant it may be to the ultimate outcome of the case or not, will change. ‘This process has been tried in the Crown court. Active case management is part of the judge’s daily responsibility. IT has produced efficiency in the criminal justice process, without any consequent diminution in the quality of justice administered there.’ But he said that the ambition to reduce delay cannot be achieved by judges alone. ‘Huge efforts will be required from the different parts of the system, including in particular Cafcass and local authorities. There will be a measure of shared responsibility for the improvement that we all require.’ Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff said, ‘Effective case-management is vital to reducing delays in the family courts. Judicial continuity, specialisation and leadership are all essential to good case-management.  Fast-tracking child care cases will help identify those cases which can be finished within the government’s proposed 26-week time limit. Delays also need to be reduced in cases where separating and divorcing couples are seeking the court’s help in making arrangements for their children.’  ut she added: ‘Achieving these aims without additional resources will be a challenge. The rise in numbers of unrepresented participants following the cuts to legal aid will put enormous pressure on the courts and the family justice system as a whole. There is an immediate challenge to develop effective methods of assisting parents without legal representation in private law cases.’last_img read more

Real beat Espanyol to go top of La Liga

first_imgREAL Madrid moved top of La Liga after Marco Asensio’s VAR-awarded strike proved enough to beat Espanyol.Asensio drilled in a low shot just before the break when Luka Modric’s effort deflected into his path, with the goal given after a lengthy review.Borja Iglesias hit the crossbar for the spirited visitors with a deft chip.Former Real keeper Diego Lopez made a fine save to deny Sergio Ramos late on in an otherwise stilted performance by the hosts at the Bernabeu.Victory takes Julen Lopetegui’s side above rivals Barcelona, who can retake the top spot with a draw or victory against Girona today.Espanyol drop to sixth following Atletico Madrid’s 2-0 win over Getafe earlier yesterday. ISCO AND ASENSIO HIGHLIGHT NEW ERAReal made sure of victory with a functional rather than fluent performance, maintaining their unbeaten league start under new boss Lopetegui.Isco and Asensio once again showed how vital they will be to the new era at the Bernabeu after the departure of talisman Cristiano Ronaldo and three-time Champions League-winning manager Zinedine Zidane over the summer, the Spain pair central to most of their side’s best moves.Asensio was unmarked when Modric’s blocked strike fell to him and clinically found the far bottom corner as Espanyol appealed for offside.Referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz consulted VAR and after a long delay awarded the goal, with replays showing Asensio was clearly onside, as the midfielder appeared to joke about the wait with his celebration, pointing to his wrist.Isco then created Real’s best chance in the latter stages, curving an immaculate cross with the outside of his right foot, only for Lopez to tip the onrushing Ramos’ header over the bar.The lack of fluency could also be down to the hosts making five changes from the side that beat Roma in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Gareth Bale an unused substitute.ESPANYOL FAIL TO EXPLOIT SHAKY REAL DEFENCEWhile right-back Alvaro Odriozola made a largely assured debut, Real’s defence as a whole was suspect at times but Espanyol failed to take advantage.Pablo Piatti shot just wide after Real were slow to react to a sweeping Espanyol counter, before former Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois saved from Hernan Perez.After the interval, Ramos was caught dallying in possession on the edge of his own area, with Iglesias robbing him off the ball and beating Courtois with an exquisite lob only to see it ricochet back off the bar.Despite that warning, Ramos continued to streak forward at will, with Casemiro forced to race back and cover on several occasions. The experienced Spaniard could have cost his side the win, had the visitors been more clinical with their final ball. (BBC Sport)last_img read more

8,100-square-mile indigenous reserve recognized in Brazilian Amazon

first_imgArticle published by Glenn Scherer Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Amazon Conservation, Amazon Destruction, Amazon Logging, Amazon People, Controversial, Deforestation, Environment, Environmental Crime, Forests, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Illegal Logging, Illegal Mining, Indigenous Culture, Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Groups, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Rights, Land Conflict, Land Grabbing, Land Rights, Rainforest Deforestation, Rainforest Destruction, Rainforest Logging, Rainforests, Saving The Amazon, Social Justice, Threats To The Amazon, Tropical Deforestation center_img There are 462 government-declared Indigenous Lands (TIs) in Brazil, but of these only 8 percent have been demarcated, a boundary-marking process vital to preventing and to prosecuting illegal incursions by land grabbers, loggers, miners and other outsiders.On 19 September the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI on the border of Pará and Amazonas state received Ministry of Justice approval for demarcation of its 2.1 million hectares (8,108 square miles). However, drastic budget cuts at FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, leaves the date at which the demarcation process will begin unknown.At least 18 different indigenous groups live within the remote Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI, including four isolated uncontacted groups. In the 1960s, the Brazilian government removed many indigenous people forcibly from the region, transporting them in Air Force planes. Some returned, walking all the way back to their home territory.Indigenous advocates, and indigenous people living in the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI, worry that the growing political strength of the bancada ruralista agribusiness lobby in Congress will result in the abolishment of FUNAI and prevent the demarcation process from ever happening. But they remain hopeful. At least 18 indigenous groups live within the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI. Pictured are some of the Kaxuyana people. Other indigenous groups that live in the territory include the Tunayana, Kahyana, Hixkariyana, Txikiyana, Xereu, Xowyana and Katuwena, as well as four isolated uncontacted groups. Image by Mario Vilela / FUNAI.The Brazilian government has declared 462 traditionally occupied Indigenous Lands (TIs), but only 8 percent of these reserves have been demarcated, legally protecting them from land grabbers, loggers, ranchers, miners and farmers. Among the remaining 92 percent still fighting for recognition of their indigenous territory borders as guaranteed under the 1988 Constitution is the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI, in the heart of the Amazon.In September, persistence and a bit of luck finally paid off, as the Ministry of Justice issued a decree officially establishing permanent land ownership, and giving a go-ahead for the demarcation of the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI – covering 2.1 million hectares (8,108 square miles) on the border between Pará and Amazonas states.Fifteen years had passed since indigenous leaders first made their formal request for TI demarcation to FUNAI, Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency – a frustratingly lengthy approval period not untypical of that experienced by other indigenous territories.Political conflicts during those years caused most of the delay, but the process had the help of the Federal Public Ministry of Pará, a government body of independent litigators, which intervened every time the FUNAI approval process stalled.A remote Kaspakuru village along the banks of the Trombetas River. Image by Denise Fajardo / Iepé Institute.Finally in May, FUNAI submitted its Circumstantial Identification and Delimitation Report (RCID), that finalized the TI’s legitimacy with the Justice Ministry. But the ministry’s final okay of demarcation might have been delayed far longer September had it not been for a chance meeting in July between Luis Donizete, executive coordinator of the Institute of Research and Indigenous Formation (Iepé), and Torquato Jardim, Minister of Justice, at a United Nations indigenous rights event in Geneva.Donizete took the opportunity to ask Jardim if any TI declarations would be approved by the ministry in 2018. Jardim replied that the government had to clarify some issues with the Attorney General’s Office (AGU), as it was challenging the signing of indigenous declarations.The Iepé coordinator argued that the recognition of the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI was not impacted by the AGU’s concerns, and asked the justice minister to receive a delegation of indigenous representatives to plead the group’s case. After analyzing the evidence, Jardim signed the decree on 19 September.“There are no invasions, disputes or demonstrations against the demarcation of the TI that would justify the non-signing of the declaration. There are also no infrastructure project requests. This is a rare case in the Amazon region,” Angela Kaxuyana, a Kaxuyana-Tunayana leader told Mongabay.One reason for the lack of conflicting land claims with outsiders is the remoteness of the Kaxuyana-Tunayana; waterfalls and other natural barriers block easy access. Still, there is rising commercial interest in the indigenous territory, said Denise Fajardo, an anthropologist at Iepé and a member of the technical group that carried out the identification and delimitation studies of the TI. “The mayor of Nhamundá [in Amazonas state], for instance, has been trying to co-opt indigenous leaders to explore [the possibility of] gravel [mining] in the southern portion of the TI.”A Tunayana leader (left) and a Kahyana leader. A direct appeal by indigenous leaders to Brazilian Justice Minister Jardim helped move their request for TI demarcation forward this Summer. Image by Denise Fajardo / Iepé Institute.Demarcation date left in limboThe September ministerial declaration instructs FUNAI to move forward with the demarcation of the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI. However, with the agency’s budget cut by half by the Temer administration, no one can say when the process will begin.“FUNAI is not demarcating any land today, the agency itself is in a vulnerable situation, which weakens our security as indigenous people,” said Kaxuyana, a representative of the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), the nation’s largest indigenous advocacy alliance. “The [continuing] existence of FUNAI depends on the current political scenario, and we fear that the bancada ruralista, [the politically powerful agribusiness lobby] with its goal to extinguish the agency, will end the land regularization process of the TIs.”At least 18 different indigenous groups live within the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI, including four isolated uncontacted groups. While the reserve’s name refers only to the Kaxuyana and Tunayana, other peoples, including the Kahyana, Hixkariyana, Txikiyana, Xereu, Xowyana and Katuwena, have long been living in the region, said Fajardo – despite attempts to eject them by Brazilian authorities in the past.“Many indigenous [groups] were forcibly removed from their lands in the late 1960s [under the Brazilian military dictatorship] and taken to other parts. Thirty years later, the Kaxuyana began to walk back along the Oiapoque River from Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, where they were living,” said Fajardo.The Cachorro (Dog) River, a tributary of the Trombetas River, in Pará state. The region’s isolation and difficulty of access have largely protected it from illegal loggers, miners and land grabbers. Though recently interlopers have begun showing interest in exploiting the lands within the Kaxuyana-Tunayana TI. Image by Ruben Caixeta.The anthropologist, who began her research work in Tumucumaque, in the extreme north of Pará state in the 1990s, recalls her surprise when she was told stories by families who had been transported away from their traditional homes on a Brazilian Air Force plane. “They felt foreign in the new place, and were told they would never go back to their homeland. But the dream of returning was great and touching, and eventually they started traveling back, finding some old relatives and the land virtually intact,” she said.Angela Kaxuyana sees the TI demarcation declaration as an important milestone, especially in light of the socio-environmental legal setbacks posed by the Temer administration. The Justice Ministry’s September decision, she said, “made us gain strength and believe again that the state itself, and therefore the Brazilian nation, recognizes it has a debt to indigenous peoples.”Correction: An extra zero was inadvertently added to the original title of this story, so that it incorrectly read “81,000-square-miles”. It has been corrected to read “8,100-square-miles.”FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page.A scene inside the indigenous Kaxuyana village of Chapéu. Image by Mario Vilela / FUNAI.last_img read more