There has been a great deal of publicity recently and I would like to clarify something that is really important.
There is a call for the UK to follow the EU ruling that took place earlier this year. When you look at it quickly it looks as though it is a ruling for grandchildren to have access to their grandparents, I too was quite excited when I saw it, but it is not at it seems.
I immediately wrote to Lucy Frazer MP the then Minister for Justice, as did Nigel Huddleston MP.
I did write about this at the time.
The response was this: Quote
I am aware of the recent judgement of the Court of Justice EU which you refer to. That judgement makes clear that a judgement made under nation law that grants ‘rights of access’ to grandparents does fall within the scope of Council Regulation 2201/2003 ( known as Brussels Law) for cross-border recognition and enforcement . However, it does not alter the position under national law in terms that grandparents have such right of access to grandchildren.
So those who think that it opened the door for the UK to suddenly allow rights to grandchildren or grandparents are wrong.
Understandably, many grandparents thought this was just what they had been waiting for, but it wasn’t.
What this ruling is saying is that here in the UK we must recognise and if necessary enforce, a child arrangement order that has been made by another member state, the regulation deals with enforcement and nothing else.
It is unrealistic to think that just because a member state recognises the rights of extended family/grandparents in this way, that the UK or even other member states will do the same.
If that was indeed the case then we would all have identical laws.
Of course for BGSG we have always campaigned for the rights of grandchildren, and that is the reasoning behind the work we have been doing over the last few years, and an attempt to get a change in the Children and Family Act, what concerns me is that misinformation raises the hopes for people when they are very vulnerable.