Posted: Fri 15th Jul 2022

September date set for debate in Jade’s Law campaign

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jul 15th, 2022

A date has been set for a House of Commons debate on a petition set up by Deeside campaigners in the wake of the murder of much-loved Jade Ward.

Jade, from Shotton, was killed by her estranged husband Russell Marsh.

Since his sentencing Jade’s family and friends have been campaigning to automatically suspend the parental responsibility of a parent who kills the other one.

Jade’s family now care for her four sons and want to save themselves and others in the same situation from the ordeal of confronting their daughter’s killer in a court hearing each time big decisions need to be made about the children.

A petition to create Jade’s Law and automatically suspend parental rights in these circumstances has already gained 128,891 signatures and will be debated on the 12th of September.

Edwin Duggan and Mark Tami MP

The Government has already responded online to the petition saying that the Children’s Act 1989 already allows courts to limit the parental responsibility of a parent where it is deemed to be in the best interests of the child. It does however admit that the current process for this can be “onerous” and “time consuming”.

Mark Tami MP, who recently hosted Jade’s family and friends in Westminster for a meeting with Shadow Justice Minister Ellie Reeves MP, said: “Having to consult with the man who killed your daughter time and again in court is not just onerous – it’s traumatic and it’s unnecessary.

“The UK Conservative Government is missing the point. The campaign group are already aware of the law as it stands, and we’re saying that it’s wrong.

“The onus should be on the convicted murderer to prove that he should have parental responsibility rather than on the family to make a case for why he shouldn’t.

Mark Tami with the Jade’s Law campaign group at the Houses of Parliament in June

“I welcome the debate on 12 September and will represent Jade’s family to the best of my ability.”

Friend of the family Edwin Duggan, a law graduate carrying out research at Staffordshire University, who started the petition, said: “The Government’s response comes as no surprise.

“I’m aware of the current legislation regarding parental responsibility.

“However, as anticipated, the Government continues to skirt the petition aim. The aim of the petition is to place the onus upon the convicted individual over that of the family.”

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