Doctors ‘can perform caesarean on pregnant woman against her will’

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Doctors treating a mentally ill woman can conduct a caesarean section against her will, the Court of Protection has ruled. The unnamed woman, in the final stages of pregnancy, has insisted she does not want a C-section. But her medical team told Mr Justice Hayden that she has bipolar affective disorder, as well as a history of both depression and psychosis and they believe there is a real risk that she could relapse while in labour and make irrational decisions if serious complications occur. The Court of Protection is a division of the High Court which makes decisions on behalf…

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What are civil partnerships?

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Until just a few years ago, civil partnerships had a very clear role. They provided a way for committed same sex couples to formalise their relationships in a legal union very similar to marriage. The Civil Partnership Act 2004 was created in recognition of the increasing social acceptance of same sex relationships, while recognising that many traditional and religious people still remained opposed to the idea of full marriage for such couples. But public opinion continued to shift and same sex marriage finally arrived less than a decade later. The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 received royal assent in…

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What is child abduction?

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The term child abduction conjures up frightening images of sinister strangers pouncing on innocent children as they play in the park. Of course, such crimes do occur and they grab headlines and break hearts when they do. But abduction by strangers is rare. The majority of the child abduction that does take place is considerably more mundane and much closer to home: most children who are abducted are taken by their own parents. This type of abduction occurs most commonly following an acrimonious divorce or separation, between couples at loggerheads over arrangements for the children. Sometimes the parent with whom…

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Supreme Court President calls for donations to legal support charity

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The President of the Supreme Court called for donations to a legal charity during a recent appearance on BBC Radio 4. Delivering the station’s weekly Appeal programme, Lady Hale gave her endorsement to the Personal Support Unit, which provides assistance to people facing complex family and civil court proceedings without legal representation. As President of the Supreme Court, Lady Hale is the most senior judge in the country. She told listeners: “I know how intimidating the civil and family courts can be for people without legal knowledge or help. Everyone deserves access to justice whether or not they can afford…

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