News Update: 17th July 2012

WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.

Items already covered in separate posts since the last update:

Man appeals against ban on replying to children
A father-of-four has criticised an "absurd" court order that bans him from returning his children's text messages or phone calls. The Independent reports today:
"Under the order the man's children are "free to ring or text him whenever they please" ... However, if he fails to answer in time and misses one of their calls, he is banned from "initiating" contact by responding in any way. The man ... was granted permission to appeal against the order by Lord Justice Thorpe, who expressed the hope that a "middle way" could now be found."
Let us hope that it is.

New President of the Supreme Court
Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, currently Master of the Rolls, has been named as the next President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. Full story: The Supreme Court.

Proposals for the joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children
"Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons are committed to the introduction of a new joint inspection of multi-agency arrangements for the protection of children in England." Full story: HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

Reform of the Office of Children’s Commissioner
Children’s Minister Sarah Teather has published draft clauses for forthcoming legislation to strengthen the role of the Office of the Children’s Commissioner. The draft legislation would create a new role for the Children’s Commissioner, focused on promoting and protecting the rights of children, in line with the articles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Full story: Department for Education.

The International Recovery of Maintenance (Hague Convention 2007) (Rules of Court) Regulations 2012
These Regulations facilitate conclusion of the Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and other forms of Family Maintenance done at The Hague on 23 November 2007 (“the Convention”) by the European Union, pursuant to Council Decision 2011/432/EU on the approval, on behalf of the European Union, of that Convention. The Convention contains rules on recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions between Contracting Parties, and administrative co-operation to facilitate the recovery of such maintenance. You can find the regulations here.

RK v RK [2011] EWHC 3910 (Fam) (21 November 2011)
Ancillary relief application in which the principal issue was the extent to which trustees of a number of trusts, of which the husband and the children of the family are discretionary beneficiaries and of some of which the wife is a discretionary beneficiary, are likely to provide resources to or for the wife direct and/or to the husband to enable him to meet the wife's financial claim. Full report: Family Law Week.

H (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 913 (29 May 2012)
Appeal by father against order made in child abduction proceedings. Appeal allowed as order had been made on the basis of a misunderstanding as to the litigation history. Full report: Family Law Week.

Re L (Children) (Occupation order: absence of domestic violence) [2012] EWCA Civ (4 April 2012)
Appeal by husband against occupation order where there had been no finding of physical violence and against shared residence order which provided that the children should live primarily with the wife. Appeal dismissed. A Court of Appeal case dealing with the sort of 'nitty-gritty' issues that family lawyers have to contend with up and down the country every day, rather than some esoteric point or a big-money case. Report: Law Society Gazette. (I've not found a full report of this case, but will include a link to it on Family Lore Case Digest should I do so.)

A City Council v M [2012] EWHC B6 (Fam) (04 July 2012)
Care proceedings, involving issues of contact with the parents and an application by the local authority for an order under s.91(14). Full report: Bailii. Discussed by suesspiciousminds (see below).

A Bridge over Tasman waters
David Hodson says: "New bilateral legislation comes into force later this year between Australia and New Zealand to resolve a number of difficult contentious family law issues between the two countries." Full article: Family Law.

BIIR Rules, OK?
"What would your instinct be if a client came to you with a classic case of wrongful retention? A speedy application for a return order under the Hague Convention? A recent judgment of Mostyn J JRG v EB highlights the importance of making the right application at the outset." Says Hayley Trim in Family Law.

Spousal maintenance - part two
The second part of Andrew Newbury's series on spousal maintenance. He says: "In my last article I considered the courts’ approach to the quantum of periodical payments. Recent decisions have seen an increased focus on needs as the prevailing factor when quantifying such payments. In a similar vein, and perhaps reflecting a less generous approach to periodical payments orders, there has been a move towards term orders and away from joint lives orders." Full article: Law Society Gazette.

A Local Authority v DS – An invitation to judicially review the Legal Services Commission?
Chris McWatters and Sharon Love, barristers, of Garden Court Chambers consider the implications of the President’s Guidance on seeking prior approval of the LSC to adduce expert evidence in family proceedings. Full article: Family Law Week.

"Mum is implacably hostile"
"The phrase “implacable hostility” made its judicial debut almost 30 years ago and has been in use ever since." Says guest blogger 'DT', who goes on to discuss this extremely difficult issue. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

An increasing probability gradually increasing to a certainty
A discussion of the judgment in A City Council v M (see above), and how private law proceedings can go really badly wrong. Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Justice by gimmick
Instead of developing a ‘divorce by app’ scheme the government should consider allowing ‘no-win, no-fee’ 
in family cases, says 
Marilyn Stowe. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog. I gave my views on Marilyn's suggestion (and she replied to them) in this post.

Cohabitee disputes and trusts of land
"Today our firm welcomed a talk about Cohabitee Disputes and Trusts of Land, given by Sarah Harrison of Chancery House Chambers in Leeds ... I thought her talk was straightforward and informative – on what is after all a very difficult subject matter." Says Marilyn Stowe. Sarah very kindly agreed to the script of her talk being published on the Marilyn Stowe Blog.

Care system failures breach children’s human rights
A discussion of the recent A & S v. Lancashire County Council case, by Alasdair Henderson on the UK Human Rights Blog.