Thursday, January 29, 2009

Bypassing Courts

Polly Toynbee's article about the Welfare Reform Bill in The Guardian on Tuesday seems to have caused rather a stir. There are 900+ comments and the numbers are still rising. I think the point has been missed that the CSA/CMEC already can confiscate driving licences and passports so all the new measures would mean the courts would be bypassed.

The expropriation of driving licences and passports is a much better way of enforcing child support than sending non payers to prisons which are already bursting at the seams. However, sanctions are only imposed after all other measures have failed and the time saved bypassing courts is very small compared to the overall time spent getting to that stage. Given the CSA/CMEC are not the most efficient organisation and make many errors it makes sense to me that the responsibility for ordering confiscation would be best left with the courts.


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