International News Desk – At Home: Judge overturns 12-year-old’s grounding – In Foreign News: E.U. passes tough new measures against migrants

International News Desk – At Home: Judge overturns 12-year-old’s grounding – In Foreign News: E.U. passes tough new measures against migrants

At Home: Judge overturns 12-year-old’s grounding

A Quebec judge’s recent ruling has many people shaking their heads and questioning just how far removed from reality the court system has become: the judge ruled in favour of a 12-year-old girl who took her father to court because he grounded her from going on a school trip.

On June 13, Quebec Superior Court Madam Justice Suzanne Tessier handed down the order that the father did not have the right to prevent his daughter from attending the class trip.

The father’s decision to ground the girl was a result of her recent computer activity. The 12-year-old had posted photos on an Internet dating service.

The girl’s parents are divorced and, although her father has custody, the youngster objected to her punishment and left home to move in with her mother.

As the father’s lawyer, Kim Beaudoin, explained to the CBC, ?When he said, ?OK, It’s final. You’re not going,? she smacked the door, left and went to live with her mother.?

The father then received a motion ?petitioning the court to overturn the punishment.? Two days later, Justice Tessier ruled in the girl’s favour, arguing that the punishment was too severe. Tessier also based her decision on the fact that the child is now living with her mother (although the father still has custody).

Although Beaudoin does not expect the case to open a floodgate of similar cases, the judge’s decision sets an interesting precedent. It also raises questions about the responsibility of parents and the courts. If parents are prevented from controlling (within legal bounds) the actions of their children, should the parents be held legally accountable from any damages resulting from their kids? behaviour?

And should parents have the right to sue the courts if injury or other loss results from being barred from setting limits on their offspring?

Interesting questions that, no doubt, will find their way into the court system before long.

In Foreign News: E.U. passes tough new measures against migrants

On June 18, European Union lawmakers voted in tough new measures aimed at migrants, including the right to hold undocumented migrants for up to 18 months and to ban them from E.U. territory for up to five years.

The measure, known as a return directive, was passed in the European Parliament by a 369-to-197 vote (106 legislators abstained).

Groups such as Amnesty International have decried the decision, calling it ?severely flawed,? and saying it erodes human rights. The E.U. office in Madrid was the site of a demonstration June 17, with protestors criticizing the detention and deportation of immigrants.

As the New York Times reports, Manfred Weber, ?a German center-right legislator from Bavaria who shepherded the measure through Parliament,? says the measure provides a minimum common standard for E.U. member states, while still demonstrating to citizens that ?it was tough on illegality.?

Weber told reporters: ?The member states must decide whether they need them; if so, then please legalize them. If you don’t need them for your labor markets, then send them home.?

Socialist groups had recommended 10 amendments to the measure, intended to offer legal recourse and other protection to migrants, but those proposals were rejected.

Cimade (currently the only French NGO with authority to work inside the country’s 23 detention centres) has denounced the move, and may contest the decision before the European Court of Human Rights or the European Court of Justice.

While there is free movement among 25 of the E.U.’s 27 member states, there is no consistent policy dealing with immigration, and the E.U.’s 224 detention centres for migrants can house up to 30,871 people.

The return directive was passed only a day after António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said the world is dealing with ?a complex mix of global challenges that could threaten even more forced displacement.?

Last year, more than the 37.4 million people were displaced around the globe, many of whom were fleeing wars or persecution.

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