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Wallbank Criticism Of Current Law Notes

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Wallbank - Registration rights Statute

Decisions about whether to make a PRO are based on s.1 of the CA 1989, which states that the welfare of children are paramount o i.e. must be in interest of child for order oe b made o making of a PRO must be better for the child than making no order
? it is a matter of weighing the balance

The current system disallowing PR to all fathers irrespective of marital status recognises the distinction between "good" and "bad" fathers o And the meritous father will be rewarded with PRO

1982 Law Commission o Irresponsible men might subject unmarried mothers with primary responsibility for care of children to interference and harassment o Women might also suffer from insecurity and/or stress

Eekelaar: o Report failed to establish whether harassment was a significant problem
? And stereotyped unmarried father as social deviant

Bainham: o The general criticism that can be made of the Commsision's revised stance was its apparent willingness to equate the psychological needs of unmarried mothers with the best interests of their children
? The objection to automatic parental rights appears to have been founded more on the psychological discomfort which was predicted for mothers

Than on realistic projections of interference or harassment. Ethics of justice versus ethics of care

When women assume primary responsibility for the child and carry out the practical and meitonal tasks aossciated with this o Then they rightly should be given priority in decisions about whether the putative father should be given PR o The current system, though flawed, at least acknowledges the imbalance of power that can exist between women and men in relation to exercising PR o Currently women have the power to refuse consent to PR when they believe that PR is not in the child's best interests
? Thus, father's have to apply to the court and show some merit in his application

Under the new system of joint registration at birth, o The burden is palced on mothers to show that fathers are not deserving of PR in the event of serious incident
? They have to apply for one of the available legal orders to deal with the specific incident or apply to revoke PR
? Deech:

PR encompases feeding, washing, clothing the child. Housing, educating, stimulating etc. o Fatherhood that does not encompass a fair share of these tasks is an empty and egotistical concept o PR is redundant when devoid of any of the practical and emotional tasks associated with caring for children
? Per Tronto, caring for should be regarded as a moral practice and should not be marginalised in moral debates

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