The government will submit a bill to the Diet to revise the Civil Code to limit to two years the suspension of guardian rights of parents who abuse their children, Justice Ministry officials said Tuesday.
The bill would change the current system in which a family court can deprive the parental rights of abusive parents for an indefinite period. Experts have criticized the system, arguing that longtime suspension of such authority could harm parent-child relationships.
The move is based on a report filed Tuesday with Justice Minister Satsuki Eda by the legislative council that serves as the minister’s advisory body.
Abusive parents could also have their authority suspended in urgent cases, such as when a parent fails to provide appropriate health care, an act called medical neglect, or if a parent tries to get their children back from a shelter, the officials said.
The proposed change would allow abused children or such children’s guardians who are minors to file child abuse cases with the court. This would be in addition to the child’s family members and prosecutors.
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