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What is “Jade’s Law”?

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

Jade’s Law is a proposed new law that will mean that a person who is convicted in the criminal courts of killing their partner, or ex partner, will lose their  parental  responsibility for their children from that relationship.

The law will be named in memory of Jade Ward, who was stabbed and strangled to death by her partner. He received a 35 year sentence but retains parental responsibility for the children he shared with Ms Ward.

The meaning of Parental Responsibility is set out in S.3 Children Act 1989 as :

parental responsibility” means all the rights, duties, powers, responsibilities and authority which by law a parent of a child has in relation to the child…

Not all birth parents have parental responsibility and sometimes other people can gain parental responsibility for a child. The Wilson Browne care team can help you to establish if you have parental responsibility and advise you on trying to obtain it if required.

The proposed changes are to be brought about through a change to the Victim and Prisoners  Bill.

Upon a person being sentenced for murder or manslaughter, it is proposed that the person convicted will have their parental responsibility suspended. The case will be swiftly considered by a judge who will look at the welfare and best interests of the children and confirm the removal.

In removing the parental responsibility, the parent would lose their right in relation to the child. That relates to all aspects of the child’s life, from knowing if they are unwell and consenting to treatment, to knowing about holidays and a child’s education.

There is an automatic exemption on cases where the convicted person was the victim of domestic abuse at the hands of the person they killed.

At the moment, the bereaved family would need to apply to the court to ask that parental responsibility be removed. Clearly, having to do this is something that would be very stressful and time consuming at what would already be an awful time in their lives.

The Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, has announced that he wants to introduce “Jades Law” to Parliament before the end of 2023.

The Wilson Browne care team will be keeping a close eye on developments. We are here to advise on this and all other aspects of childcare law and the full range of our devices can be found HERE

Helen Russell


Helen Russell


Helen is Partner at Wilson Browne Solicitors and acts as head of the child care team.  She is also co-chair of the Northamptonshire Family Justice Board.