Mon | May 29, 2017

No bastards live here anymore!

Published:Wednesday | September 2, 2015 | 9:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Imagine my shock and horror when reviewing a summons a few days ago, issued to a client of mine, I read the following words: (the names have been changed for the protection of the parties):

"Whereas by an Affiliation Order made at a Family Court holden at 55A Duke Street on the ________day of June 2014, one John Doe was adjudged to be the putative father of a bastard child named Tommy then lately born of the body of Jane Flowers ... ." (Emphasis mine.)

The Status of Children Act was enacted in 1976, removing the distinctions between children born within and outside of wedlock and enacting provisions for the equal treatment of children under the law, whatever the circumstances of their birth.

I am horrified that 40 years later, no less than the Family Court in the Corporate Area uses form documents containing the word 'bastard', as if those documents have never been reviewed in 40 years!

I am further horrified, as a member of the Bar, that this matter appears to have gone unnoticed by practitioners in the courts. I am utilising this forum to urge the relevant ministry to act expeditiously to remove all such form documents utilised throughout the court system so that no child is referenced in that way ever again. Words are important. There are no bastards living here anymore!

SHERENE S. GOLDING CAMPBELL

Golding Campbell & Associates

Kingston 10