Judge uses ‘plain English’ text to explain decision to woman with learning difficulties

A family court judge has used plain English in a bid to help a woman with learning difficulties understand why a baby must be taken from her care.

Judge Joanna Vincent said the woman had been diagnosed with autism and sometimes did not understand the words people used.

She explained her decision in a ruling which is a page-and-a-half long and runs to a little over 800 words.

The judge described the woman as “brave”.

She said she knows the woman loves the little boy and wants to be given a chance to look after him.

But she explained that she had to do “what I think is best” for the child.

She said she is “very sorry” that she had made a decision which would make the woman “very sad”.

Judge Vincent wrote a separate ruling aimed at lawyers and social services bosses which runs to 11 pages and is nearly 8,000 words long.

She published the two rulings after analysing the boy’s case at a private family court hearing in Oxford.

The judge ruled that the child should be brought up by a relative living in Scotland.

She said the family involved could not be identified.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2019, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Steve Parsons / PA Wire.

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