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THE LAW REFORM COMMISSION OF HONG KONG - page 131 / 360

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(3)separating parents who are unable to cooperate to the extent where they can agree on arrangements for the ongoing care of their children.”593

Language

5.5This report noted that, even though no detailed evaluation of the impact of the change of language made by the Children Act 1989 had been conducted, no significant adverse effects had been reported.  Professor Brenda Hoggett, though being cautious about the impact of language on increasing participation by fathers, suggested that “the retention of parental responsibility also improves the status of the other parent while the children are with him”.594

5.6Sir Stephen Brown, President of the Family Division of the High Court told the Family Law Council that “anecdotal evidence from solicitors suggested that clients find the new terminology less adversarial which assists in resolving disputes.”595  The Law Society of England and Wales reported that the private law provisions of the Children Act “have attracted widespread support”.596

Parental responsibility

5.7The Council also recommended that:

“(a)the Family Law Act be amended to include the ... concept of parental responsibility…; and

(b)the Act should make it clear that parental responsibility does not cease on separation and that the best interests of the child will generally require continuing contact with both parents and complementary parenting skills.”597

5.8The Council recommended that a “guardianship order would be made where necessary”.598   This would cover the situation which arises after a parent’s death.  The Council’s Patterns of Parenting After Separation report had recommended that this concept be retained.599

593 Idem.

594Quoted at paragraph 26 of the report on The Operation of the (UK) Children Act 1989 (1994) report.

595 Ibid at paragraph 27.

596 Ibid at paragraph 30.

597Ibid at recommendation 5, paragraph 54.

598Ibid at paragraph 38.

599Ibid at paragraph 53.

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