Minister Michael Weeks On Litigation Guardians

July 21, 2018

Minister of Social Development and Sports Michael Weeks commented on the recent Supreme Court ruling on June 28th involving a litigation guardian, pointing out that “policy development around litigation guardians has been underway for some time in his Ministry.”

Minister Weeks noted that “Government had recognized that changes to the Children Act 1998 were necessary with regard to litigation guardians, and thus included a commitment to enhance the protocol for litigation guardians in the September 2017 Speech from the Throne.”

Minister Weeks in commenting on the recent Supreme Court ruling noted that the Court concluded that, “It would be wrong in principle for this Court to use its inherent jurisdiction to authorize statutory expenditure where the Legislature has not expressly done so”.

Minister Weeks further stated that, “In order to advance the Throne Speech initiative, his Ministry consulted with the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service [CAFCASS], the principal agency responsible for representing children in family court cases, and which provides oversight of litigation guardians in England.”

Minister Weeks said, “As a result, the Ministry of Social Development and Sports has formulated a policy framework which Cabinet has now approved, and for which drafting instructions have been issued to the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

“The policy framework calls for the establishment of a statutory Litigation Guardian Council to provide regulatory oversight of the recruitment, management and administration of litigation guardians in Bermuda.”

Minister Weeks noted that a “litigation guardian from CAFCASS was recently appointed by the Family Court in Bermuda on an unpaid basis to provide an objective review of the circumstances related to a family matter in the best interest of the child concerned.”

The court ruling follows below [PDF here]:

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  1. NO MORE WAR says:

    The family court system is broken. The biggest issue is accountability on every level. The family court panel is a damn joke and needs revisiting. The child support payment system is a damn joke. The clerks let it reach outreageous amounts, giving warning letter after warning letter. The criminal court system ensures that fines are paid in a timely fashion or a warrant is generated for that person. So why doesn’t the same happen at family court? Oh right my bad it’s just a child that doesn’t need food, clothing or shelter. If we all pay attention it is easy to tell what’s really important to the Government and the system on a whole.