From time to time F.A.C.T. publishes briefing papers on topical subjects. Please read and use them in your lobbying. These include:-
- Child Protection and the Criminal Justice System by Margaret Jervis
This briefing paper examines what is wrong with the child protection system. It discusses a range of problems decades in the context of multi agency, system failure and ‘group think’ dynamics and highlights a number of flaws in the system relating to the decisions to prosecute, evidential reliability, the need for trial safeguards and defence hurdles which need to be overcome. The paper concludes with an agenda of the action needed be taken to improve the system.
- The Road to Shieldfield and beyond - disturbing influences on the growth of allegations of child abuse by Margaret Jervis
The full story of the journey from Cleveland to Shieldfield is astonishing in revealing the disproportionate influence of a handful of dedicated ideologues. It is also an expose of the fault lines in reforms that have undermined the probity of child protection and justice.
- Messages from the Shieldfield Nursery nurse libel case
In November 1998 Newcastle City published a report of an inquiry into allegations of multiple abuse at a council-run nursery. The report, written by three social workers and a psychologist, led to front-page headlines in practically every national newspaper. Although Reed and Lillie had previously been acquitted in a criminal trial, the inquiry concluded that they were guilty not only of carrying out horrific acts of abuse themselves but also of supplying children to a paedophile ring whose members had raped and abused their young victims, and used them in the making of child pornography. But no one thought to question the report’s findings. This led to Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie suing Newcastle City Council and the local newspaper that carried to the story. This paper discusses some of the lessons to learnt from report itself and from the subsequent libel trial.
- Justice Denied by Margaret Jervis
This paper discusses the extent to which the child protection and criminal justice system provides an adequate framework for the investigation of allegations into alleged child abuse, and for the need testimony and evidence to ‘evidentially reliable and the need for better safeguards to ensure a fair trial.
- Child Protection in Britain – the need for root and branch reform. In this paper Charles Pragnell critically reviews the history of child protection investigative practice in Great Britain and proposes 5 remedies – the need for an inquisitorial and not an adversarial approach to proceedings, the need for a new national independent body of experts to test out ‘new theories’ – particularly in relation to Court work, the introduction of a ‘without foundation’ verdict in cases where are no records to substantiate the allegation, improved training, and the need the need to make false accusation a criminal and a civil offence.
- Case studies of falsely accused people. This paper sets out six cases studies where there is incontrovertible proof that the accusers made false allegations.