Ask the Legal Expert: How Will 'Jade's Law' Better Protect Children in Wales?
- AuthorAngela Killa
In October 2023, Jade’s Law was announced by the Justice Secretary - marking a change to the Victims and Prisoners Bill, aiming to better protect children from harm.
The introduction of Jade’s Law will see the Bill amended so that a parent who kills their partner or ex-partner with whom they have children will automatically lose their parental responsibility upon sentencing. Any domestic abuse victims who kill their partner will be exempt from the new rules.
What is Jade’s Law?
Jade’s Law has been established to better protect children, by swiftly removing children from the care of anyone convicted of murder or voluntary manslaughter of the person they share parental responsibility with.
When the Law is passed, this means that killers will no longer be able to make decisions about their children’s lives; losing their influence on aspects such as whether a child should have access to therapeutic services, where the children go to school, or whether they go on holiday abroad. It is hoped this will shield children from facing further trauma.
How will Jade’s Law impact families?
Named after Jade Ward, who was murdered by her former partner in 2021, the law has been implemented to ease the stress of grieving families. Jade’s family campaigned tirelessly to get the Victims and Prisoners law changed after Jade’s killer was able to continue taking part in decisions about their four children’s lives after he had been sentenced to 25 years in prison for her murder.
Until Jade’s Law, bereaved family members like Jade’s have faced lengthy legal battles: they had to apply to restrict parental responsibility of their relative’s killer, rather than see the killer’s rights automatically revoked.
Following the Wards’ campaign, the change in legislation will reduce the burden on families facing such a distressing, challenging time.
At JCP Solicitors, our team of Family Law experts can give impartial, confidential advice and guidance for all issues relating to family law. With our Director Angela Killa sitting on the advisory panel for the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, our family teams take a child-centric approach to ensure the child’s best interests are at the heart of any family law case.