Child Protection Conference
What would you consider to be the defining characteristics of a "Star Chamber"?
Might I suggest:
The accused only hears of the charges at the trial, if the charges are ever detailed.
No legal representation for the accused.
If it is difficult for the accusers to provide evidence that the accused actually did something then the onus falls on the accused to try to prove that they did not do something.
If the accused attempts to introduce evidence it is "inadmissable".
Those running the chamber are prosecution, judge/jury and executioner, there is no separation.
The decision is final, no appeal.
Well, if you have any experience of a Child Protection Conference you will not have to think too hard as you have already been in one.
If not then you might care to take a look at this:
a guide to child protection investigations and child protection conferences in jersey
(Oh my goodness have you ever seen a more "cuddly" booklet before? I expect that with no nasty capitals used on the cover it will surely not have anything unpleasant hidden inside)
My comments with relation to the guide.
Items that I believe are relevant in all cases:
p2 A, p8 A. The chairman/woman should be independent of both the Social Services and the Police. Jean Andrews, being an SS employee and having set her career in the Childrens Service prior to being slid in to the position, simply can not be independent, she is part and parcel of the SS creed.
p3 B. Agreed, but absolutely no allowance is made for the threats and other stresses that the accused is under. (plenty of support and allowance given to the accuser though)
p4 D. But when evidence is submitted that proves the accuser to be a liar it will simply be disregarded.
p6 E. Whoever is there "to help you say what you want to" "cannot take part in the meeting". How is this supposed to work, should they shove their hand up and operate the accused as a ventriloquist? So having (B) admitted the possibility that the accused is facing the gravest slurs imaginable with potentially terminal consequences they are simply not allowed someone to speak on their behalf and have to fend for themselves.
p9 G. Self explanatory I think.
Items that are specifically relevant in my case:
p4 B. Neither the dopey doctor (who was used to vector in the August 2007 allegation) or the CAFCASS schemer (my wife's aunt) who also states that she made referrals, had the decency to inform me, they just put the referrals in.
p6 E. You really have to read the minutes of the conference to see how my wife's aunt was allowed to proceed.
p7 F, p8 F. In my case I was handed the case worker's report just 5 minutes before the conference started, and on reading this not only did I learn of allegations that had not been disclosed previously but also that my wife had installed a relative of hers in my house, a man that had been complicit with the regular raping of a 13 year old girl over a 2-3 year period, and was presumably now left in sole charge of my daughters at that very instance.
p8 A. To understand what The Children's Service mean by the term "independent" you really need to refer to the minutes of the conference.