News Brief: Rules and cases

The latest (final?) tranche of Practice Directions supplementing the new Family Procedure Rules has been published this week, including such delights as Practice Direction 34B – Practice Note (Tracing Payers Overseas), Practice Direction 12O – Arrival of Child in England by Air and Practice Direction 12N – Enforcement of Children Act 1989 Contact Orders: Disclosure of Information to Officers of the National Probation Service (High Court and County Court). The verdict on the new rules is still out. Some seem to think they are a nightmare, whilst others, such as Andrew Woolley, are calling them 'a victory for plain English'. One thing is clear: the Ministry of Justice has done its usual efficient job of leaving things until the last minute.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal has been busy, deciding three children cases yesterday:
  • Re A and D (Children), which was an appeal by a mother against the dismissal of an application for an order that the children be returned from Cameroon (the order was refused on the basis that the children were habitually resident there). The appeal was dismissed.

  • M v F & Others, an appeal of a mother against a judgment refusing her a wide ranging series of declarations, the object of which was to deny the father all knowledge of the birth and subsequent development of his legitimate child. Again, the appeal was dismissed. (This case also made it into The Telegraph.)

  • Mercredi v Chaffe, an appeal by a mother against an order requiring her to return the child from La RĂ©union. This appeal was allowed.