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The UK's Justice Secretary, Alex Chalk, is set to introduce "Jade's Law" by the end of the year, a crucial piece of legislation aimed at preventing individuals who have killed their partners from gaining parental rights to their surviving children. This legal initiative is in response to the tragic case of Jade Ward, who was brutally attacked by her partner, Russell Marsh, in 2021 while their four sons were sleeping.

Jade's Law introduces several vital provisions to protect families from the manipulation of jailed abusers:

Automatic Suspension of Parental Responsibility: Under this law, parental responsibility will be automatically suspended whenever a parent is serving a prison sentence for killing the other parent with whom they shared parental responsibilities. Currently, parental responsibility remains intact even when one parent has killed the other, requiring family or guardians to consult the imprisoned parent on decisions related to the children's health, education, and travel.

Protection from Manipulation: The law aims to prevent abusers from controlling their children from behind bars. Marsh, despite being incarcerated, still attempted to influence his children's lives, even having access to their progress reports and medical details, and potentially blocking them from receiving therapy or travelling abroad.

Legislative Measures: These measures will be incorporated into the Victims and Prisoners Bill, marking the culmination of a long campaign initiated by Jade Ward's parents and supported by Labour MP Mark Tami. The bill is a testament to the determination of those who have strived to address this critical issue within the UK's legal framework.

In his announcement, Justice Secretary Chalk emphasized that an induvial who has murdered their partner should not be able to manipulate and control their children from behind bars. Jade's Law aims to protect families from this appalling behaviour.

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The above article is for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.  It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any part of the information given.