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Briefing Papers

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From time to time F.A.C.T. publishes briefing papers on topical subjects. Please read and use them in your lobbying. These include:-

FACT campaign leaflet – useful facts and case studies

Why it is too easy for innocent people to be wrongly accused of sexual abuse, article written by Dr Ros Burnett and published by the Justice Gap (2017)

Catching Innocents in the Net. Slides of a talk given to the British False Memory Society by Dr Ros Burnett in April 2017.

FACT official response to the murder of Bijan-Ebrahimi (2013)
In this open letter to the Minister of Justice and others FACT responds to police comments concerning the brutal murder of Bijan-Ebrahimi by vigilantes in the mistaken belief he was a paedophile.

Submission to CCRC (2012) In 2012 the CCRC undertook a Triennial Review of the CCRC for Parliament and invited stakeholders to submit evidence for consideration.

Presumed Guilty – the plight of falsely accused carers and teachers (2011) This briefing paper was written specifically for Parliamentarians and sets out the reasons why carers and teachers are vulnerable to false allegations and what politicians need to do to prevent false allegations.

It Will Never Happen To You Will It (2010) One man’s account of what happened to him.

The Road to Shieldfield and beyond – disturbing influences on the growth of allegations of child abuse (2008) In this briefing paper Margaret Jervis tells full story of the journey from Cleveland to Shieldfield is astonishing in revealing the disproportionate influence of a handful of dedicated ideologues. It is also an exposé of the fault lines in reforms that have undermined the probity of child protection and justice.

Messages from the Shieldfield Nursery nurse libel case (2005) In November 1998 Newcastle City published a report of an inquiry into allegations of multiple abuse at a council-run nursery. The report, written by three social workers and a psychologist, led to front-page headlines in practically every national newspaper. Although Reed and Lillie had previously been acquitted in a criminal trial, the inquiry concluded that they were guilty not only of carrying out horrific acts of abuse themselves but also of supplying children to a paedophile ring whose members had raped and abused their young victims, and used them in the making of child pornography. But no one thought to question the report’s findings. This led to Dawn Reed and Christopher Lillie suing Newcastle City Council and the local newspaper that carried to the story.  This paper discusses some of the lessons to learnt from report itself and from the subsequent libel trial.

Child Protection and the Criminal Justice System (2005) This briefing paper by Margaret Jervis examines what is wrong with the child protection system. It discusses a range of problems decades in the context of multi agency, system failure and ‘group think’ dynamics and highlights a number of flaws in the system relating to the decisions to prosecute, evidential reliability, the need for trial safeguards and defence hurdles which need to be overcome. The paper concludes with an agenda of the action needed be taken to improve the system.

Justice Denied (2005) This paper by Margaret Jervis discusses the extent to which the child protection and criminal justice system provides an adequate framework for the investigation of allegations into alleged child abuse, and for the need testimony and evidence to ‘evidentially reliable and the need for better safeguards to ensure a fair trial.

Child Protection in Britain – the need for root and branch reform (2004) In this paper Charles Pragnell critically reviews the history of child protection investigative practice in Great Britain and proposes 5 remedies – the need  for an inquisitorial and not an adversarial approach to proceedings, the need for a new national independent body of experts to test out ‘new theories’  – particularly in relation to Court work,  the introduction of a ‘without foundation’ verdict in cases where are no records to substantiate the allegation, improved training, and the need the need to make false accusation a criminal and a civil offence.