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Osborne Memorial award 2016

Mr Justice Peter Jackson

Earlier this year, Mr Justice Peter Jackson presided over a very difficult domestic abuse case. In a break from convention, he decided, for the sake of the children involved, to outline the key points of the case in a 17-page plain English summary.

By doing so, he not only helped those children make sense of the decision to restrict their father’s access to them. He also set a precedent that we hope helps bring change to many other similar cases, and in general to legal language. Why not extend Mr Justice Peter Jackson’s approach to any number of legal cases?

Here is an excerpt from the summary. You can read the full summary here.

Children can’t be taken away from their parents unless social services prove to a judge that it would be harmful for them to live at home. If children are taken away, judges will always try to return them if that is safe. Children are not taken away from their parents simply because the parents have lied about something. Even if they do tell lies they can still be good enough parents. People can tell lies about some things and still tell the truth about other things. Also, children are not taken away because parents are rude or difficult or because they have strange views, even if those views offend people. The only reason to take children away is because they need protecting from harm.”
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