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Blair asks for your views on child contact

Views wanted on child contact agreement

The government is asking for views on a European agreement on parents' contact with children after separation.
The Council of Europe convention aims to set out international principles on contact with children and to safeguard contact orders. It also aims to improve co-operation between governments and judicial systems.
Family Justice Minister Lord Filkin said that it is becoming more common for parents to have different nationalities.
"When such couples separate we need to safeguard the child's interests. To do that we need to have international agreements and co-operation between different judicial systems."
But the Minister also said that he has an open mind on whether the convention will make a difference to the welfare of families.
"That is why we need the views of the public to consider all views before making a final decision."
The Department for Constitutional Affairs is asking people for their views on whether:
• the convention would improve existing law;
• there would be an improvement in international co-operation if the UK ratified this convention; and
• if there would be any drawbacks in ratifying the convention.
The consultation will run until 31 October 2004.
The Council of Europe, which was founded in 1949, has 45 member states.


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