After launching our Legal Advice Service last year, we have seen how important legal advice from experts based in other countries and jurisdictions can be to the outcome of a proceedings, and how much it can impact the best interests of a child.
When children are being placed overseas, advice and guidance from legal experts based in the country of placement, with their unique and in-depth knowledge of local child protection legislation, can give greater context to the situation and possible outcomes. Hence why local authorities and courts in the UK are seeking this kind of expert opinion more frequently, to guide decisions in situations where children are exposed to harm in cross-border settings, such as forced marriage, FGM, international child abduction or to facilitate children’s placements with family members overseas.
To ensure the best interests of children in these proceedings and to support the people working to protect them, CFAB has developed an International Legal Advice service based on our expanding partnerships with lawyers in different countries, who can help provide expert reports for use in child protection proceedings in UK courts.
The aim of this International Legal Advice service is to bridge the gap between UK family law and child protection proceedings with an international element. We are drawing upon our connections with lawyers across different continents, strengthened through our collaborative work with our Legal Advice service, to build a centralised network of international legal experts who can provide reports to help meet the best interests of children specific to their local context.