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Issues - Social Security

Wednesday, 19th May, 2004
At half-past 10
From Appeal Tribunals
(Social Security Commissioners)

C3/2003/0893 Hockenjos v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions.
Appeal of Applicant from the order of The Social Security Commission,
dated 13th January 2003, filed 14th April 2003.
Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
Royal Courts of Justice,
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Short outline on what the appeal is about:
Tomorrow at 10.30 hours at court 74 of the Court of Appeal in Civil Cases at the Strand in London, Eugen Hockenjos’ second round of Appeal will be heard by three Lords Justices. It is about bringing the law on Social Security in line with the equal parenting and shared care demands of the 21st century.
The law governing divorce courts as such contains no statutory ban on equal parenting or shared care after parental separation or divorce. The only area of UK legislation that fails to recognise equal or shared parenting is the law pertaining to Social Security.
Social security law is stuck in a time warp, its parenting model is not based on the equal parenting demands of the 21st century. When equal parenting or shared care is ordered by the courts on the grounds of welfare needs of the child, or when parents agree to share the care of children, the law relating to Social Security law states: "Only one parent can be treated as responsible for a child". (see also Times Law Report, May 17th , 2001).

The result is that fathers in equal parenting or shared care arrangements have no access to child-related welfare benefit payments in times of need. It's no big deal if you don't need them, but disastrous if you do. Also it is blatantly discriminatory, and harms children.
The Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal normally sits at the Royal Courts of Justice in London. It deals with appeals in civil cases from the High Court, tribunals, and in certain cases, county courts.
If you are unhappy about the decision made by the Judge in your case, you may be able to appeal against the decision to a Judge in a higher court. There must be proper grounds for making an appeal and there are strict time limits within which to do so. It should be explained at this point that it is not possible for Court Service staff or other Government officials to review a judgment made by the courts. This is because the judiciary are entirely independent and must be free to decide the outcome of cases without fear of interference from Government or its administration.
Appeals against the outcome of a hearing in a county court or a High Court, are mostly dealt with by the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal is based in the Royal Courts of Justice, at the Strand in London. For further information about the Court of Appeal, you can contact the Civil Division on 020 7947 6409. However, while staff at the Court of Appeal will be happy to offer procedural guidance they are not permitted or trained to give legal advice or discuss whether you can or should appeal. For legal assistance a solicitor should be contacted. Alternatively, you may prefer to contact a Citizen's Advice Bureau or other advice agency, where advise is generally provided free of charge.
The UK Government is defending its discriminatory, sexist and racist treatment
of fathers who are engaged in co-parenting after parental separation or divorce
"I readily appreciate the argument that in today’s climate shared parenting is an ideal, and that both parents participating in the child's upbringing is the best for the child." ... so said LORD JUSTICE WARD in the Court of Appeal, 29 Feb 2000
Background info:

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