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Child welfare consultant alleges that fathers who sexually abuse their children force judges to give them access to the children.


davidcameron

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Jun 4, 2010
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8,764
Child welfare consultant alleges that fathers who sexually abuse their children force judges to give them access to the children.

Kieran McGrath, a Child Welfare Consultant, wrote:

Preparing for 'children referendum' - The Irish Times - Wed, Oct 31, 2012

For example, I am aware of cases where men who have admitted to sexually abusing their own children were still able to force judges to give them supervised access, against the wishes of the children. This has occurred because the courts could not ignore parental rights and the children had no explicit rights enshrined in the Constitution.
That is nonsensical because giving abusive parents access to their children is a violation of Article 42.5 of the Constitution:
“In exceptional cases, where the parents for physical or moral reasons fail in their duty towards their children, the State as guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the child.”
Furthermore, it's a violation of the constitutional right to bodily integrity'

Why would a judge interpret the constitutional position of the family as giving abusive married parents the right to have access to their children?
 

PeeMac

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Feb 17, 2009
Messages
391
Just because the state steps in to supply the place of the parents, doesn't mean that the parents lose all access to the children. When children are in care access to parents is encouraged. Are you saying access to children by abusive parents doesn't happen under the present situation, or that judges are granting such access in error?
 

davidcameron

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Joined
Jun 4, 2010
Messages
8,764
Just because the state steps in to supply the place of the parents, doesn't mean that the parents lose all access to the children. When children are in care access to parents is encouraged. Are you saying access to children by abusive parents doesn't happen under the present situation, or that judges are granting such access in error?
In cases where a prosecution takes place and the judge grants the abusive parents access, the State could appeal that decision on the grounds that sexual abuse is a violation of the constitutional right to bodily integrity and that granting access to these parents causes the child psychological harm and thus could lead to suicidal thoughts, also violating the right to bodily integrity, not to mention the fact that such access facilitates witness intimidation.

There is no way that the people who drew up the Constitution would intend it to allow abusive parents to violate their children's constitutional rights or that it would prevent the State from protecting children in such cases.

In his judgement of the Baby Ann case, Mr Justice Hardiman wrote that the Constitution prefers the rights of parents not over the rights of children but over the rights of third parties.
 
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