A 60-yr-old act of parliament says what happens in family courts must be kept secret.

Dispatches goes as far as the law will allow, to find out if family courts are letting victims of domestic abuse down. 1/

Torn Apart: Family Courts Uncovered, Tonight at 10pm on @Channel4
@Channel4 In January ‘21 there was a real chance to report more openly. 4 cases have been brought to the court of appeal. In these cases all 4 women had asked the family courts to take into account domestic abuse, but the judges had dismissed their claims. They want their cases reheard. 2
@Channel4 “It was also said that she couldn't possibly have been raped and that she was no shrinking violet.”

Because the Court of Appeal is held publicly, one of the Barristers leading the appeal, @DrProudman is able to speak publicly about what was said in court. 3/
@Channel4 @DrProudman A Ministry of Justice report, which came out last year, castigated the family justice system for its treatment of domestic abuse victims, saying it is too difficult to prove abuse; and that judges often order contact even when they accept abuse has taken place. 4/
@Channel4 @DrProudman There is chronic underfunding of family justice. The system is overrun and overstretched. But by default, it is a criminal offence to report what has happened in court. So if no-one can ever know the specifics of the problems, they can’t be fixed. 5/
@Channel4 @DrProudman We approached the Ministry of Justice about the issues raised in the film and they said:
@Channel4 @DrProudman WATCH: Torn Apart: Family Courts Uncovered, Tonight at 10pm on @Channel4

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More from @C4Dispatches

19 Jul
Dispatches has obtained this disturbing and never before seen footage of police forcibly removing children from their mother to be taken to go to live with their father. 1/

Torn Apart: Family Courts Uncovered - Tuesday at 10pm on @Channel4
@Channel4 There is no suggestion that the children are at risk of neglect or abuse with their mother. The children say they want to live with her. But the family court has ordered they be taken, by force if need be, to live with their father. 2/
@Channel4 Family courts make decisions about what is best for children. These are not child protection cases involving abuse or neglect, they are private battles between parents. But some cases can end up with kids being forcibly removed against their will, in distressing circumstances. 3
Read 9 tweets
17 May
Second Wave: Did the Government Get it Wrong?

Two thirds of UK Covid deaths happened since September. #Dispatches charts the rise of the second wave & examines the extent to which the Prime Minister decisions could be blamed for those tragic deaths.

Tonight, 10pm on @Channel4
@Channel4 Boris Johnson was advised in September by government scientific advisors to enforce a two week lockdown.

But the PM went on to seek advice from three outside scientists known to be lockdown sceptics. The most controversial of them has agreed to speak to us.
@Channel4 “That was disastrous. There’s no doubt that caused thousands of extra deaths.”

Despite being warned the new Kent variant of Covid was 70% more transmissible, Boris Johnson was insistent on not cancelling Christmas 2020. Did his delay in imposing a full lockdown cost lives?
Read 7 tweets
8 May
The Queen’s cousin, Prince Michael, appears willing to use his royal status to seek favours from Russian president Putin, & use a royal palace & his links to the Queen for personal profit - #Dispatches & The Sunday Times reveal. 1/

Royals For Hire Monday at 7.30pm on @Channel4
@Channel4 We set up a fake South Korean gold company, the House of Haedong, and asked Prince Michael to make a speech that trades off his royal status and gives the company royal support in order to impress its investors.
He said “the idea makes me very happy.” 2/
@Channel4 He said he was willing to accept $200,000 from our fake company in return for making the speech.
Read 10 tweets
22 Mar
Private equity firms are taking home billions of pounds as high streets die and thousands are unemployed.

#Dispatches studied the accounts of 10 well known brands including HMV, Cath Kidston, Debenhams, and Toys ‘R’ Us, that entered administration in the past three years. 1/
Nearly 29,000 jobs were lost, but we can reveal that across their broader investment portfolios, the private equity owners disclosed nearly a billion pounds of profit during the period of ownership. The 10 brands owed almost £50million in unpaid taxes when they collapsed. 2/
“Things stopped being replaced. They would break down. There was water coming through the ceiling.”

Former employees of Debenhams, bought in 2003 by a private equity consortium, told #Dispatches that after the takeover the business underinvested in the upkeep of its stores. 3/
Read 9 tweets
11 Oct 20
Now we’ve left the EU, the government is trying to do a trade deal with the US. @Dispatches can exclusively reveal dangerous levels of contamination in American meat that could soon be stocked in UK supermarkets. 1/
Between 12 & 14% of the pork & poultry samples tested have Salmonella, that’s about 6 times higher than levels in UK pork. According to preliminary results from Professor Lance Price who is in the middle of a 5year study looking at bacterial contamination in US retail meat. 2/
More than 60% of the pork products tested had E. coli on them, as did around 70% of beef products, 80% of chicken products, and more than 90% of turkey products. E. coli indicates faecal contamination. 3/
Read 10 tweets
3 Jun 20
Boris Johnson told Italy’s Prime Minister he ‘wanted herd immunity’, #Dispatches has learnt. The government denies herd immunity was ever a strategy. THREAD 1/
We’ve learned that on the 13th of March Boris Johnson called the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. Conte recounted the call to one of his health ministers, Pierpaolo Sileri. He told us: 2/
The government has denied herd immunity was ever a strategy. No one from the government agreed to be interviewed but they told us: 3/
Read 4 tweets

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