News Update: 31st July 2012
WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.
Items already covered in separate posts since the last update:
- Re S (A Child): Residence and the controlling father
- Re W (Children): The responsibilities of parents
- T (Children): Appeal allowed
- John Hemming's Draft Family Justice Bill published
- Research into Munro recommendation published
- HH v BLW: Costs in private law children application
NEWSVulnerable children 'at risk' in new protection system
Some of England's most vulnerable children may lose out under planned changes to the child protection system, new campaign group Every Child in Need has argued. Full story: BBC News.
Thresholds for accepting child protection referrals 'too high'
An analysis of serious case reviews in 2009-11 suggests overall child protection practices have improved, but highlights concerns about a minority of cases that were not investigated by social workers. Full story: Community Care.
Nagalro criticises Government's over-emphasis on adoption when seeking permanence for looked after children
Nagalro has published its evidence to the Select Committee of the House of Lords examining adoption legislation. Full story: Family Law Week. The evidence can be read here.
Cafcass publishes its annual report
Care application have risen by 11% on the previous year. Story: Family Law Week. The report itself can be found here.
Funding to support new social workers
Every newly qualified social worker could benefit from £2,000 to boost their learning and development, under plans announced by Ministers today. Full story: Department for Education.
Local authority’s special guardianship allowance policy ruled illegal
Carer under special guardianship order must be paid at foster carer’s rate. Full story: Family Law Week.
Islamic tradition 'is no defence against divorce ruling'
A Muslim doctor who ignored a judge's order to pay his former wife £60,000 maintenance has been told by the Court of Appeal that he cannot rely on Muslim tradition to absolve him of his financial responsibilities. Full story: The Telegraph.
Solicitors warned of divorce claims
Divorce solicitors could face thousands of compensation claims in cases where pensions were undervalued in a divorce settlement, a pensions consultant has claimed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Father’s rights breached by mother 'too upset’ to let him see children
A father who was denied access to his children for three years because it upset their mother suffered a breach of his parental rights, the Court of Appeal has ruled. The Re W case (see below) makes the national media. Full story: The Telegraph.
CASESRe CAH (A Child)  EW Misc 15 (CC) (11 May 2012)
A county court case dealing with an application by a mother for a prohibited steps order forbidding the father from baptising the children as Christians. Her application was dismissed. Full report: Bailii.
Re K (A Child: Post Adoption Placement Breakdown)  EWHC B9 (Fam)
Application by local authority for a care order after the breakdown of an adoption placement where the child was beyond parental control. Care order made. Full report: Bailii. Discussed by suesspiciousminds - see below.
HH v BLW  EWHC 2199 (Fam) (28 June 2012)
Application for permission to appeal a costs order in contact proceedings. Application refused: although the proposed appeal had a real prospect of success, it lacked any proportionality to the amount at stake. Full report: Bailii. I analysed this case in this post.
T (Children)  UKSC 36 (25 July 2012)
Care proceedings. Appeal by local authority against order requiring them to pay the interveners' costs of a fact-finding hearing. Appeal allowed. Full report: Supreme Court. Discussed by both Marilyn Stowe and ObiterJ of Law and Lawyers - see below.
Re W (Children)  EWCA Civ 999 (24 July 2012)
Appeal by father against dismissal of his application for direct contact. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. Notable also for LJ McFarlane's postscript on the responsibilities of parents in children disputes, that I set out in this post, and Marilyn Stowe also mentioned - see below. The case was also analysed by suesspiciousminds in his post referred to below.
Re S (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1031 (24 July 2012)
Appeal by father against contact order and residence order in favour of mother, in case involving mother's relocation. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. Also looked at by Marilyn Stowe, in her post mentioned below.
ARTICLESSection 38(6) Applications – Further fine-tuning
Sally Gore, barrister, of 14 Gray's Inn Square, examines developments concerning applications for assessment under section 38(6) of the Children Act 1989 culminating in the Court of Appeal's clarification in S (A Child) . Full article: Family Law Week.
“The law of property, as it applies to cohabiting couples in England and Wales, continues to produce outcomes which many commentators regard as unfair. In the Scottish case of Gow v. Grant, a recent appeal under the Family Law (Scotland) Act 2006 Lady Hale calls for similar legislation to be introduced in England and Wales.” The full article, by Sarah Greenan and Elizabeth Darlington of Zenith Chambers can be found, in .PDF format, here.
BLOGSBanging heads together and “a very big ask”
An analysis of the Court of Appeal decision in Re W (Children)  EWCA Civ 999 (see above), by suesspiciousminds.
Letter from America: a busy week for family law back in Britain
Marilyn Stowe looks at the cases T (Children), Re W and Re S, all referred to above, and the issue of costs in family cases, in this post on her blog.
Defending allegations made in care proceedings ~ Costs
A discussion of the Supreme Court judgment in T (Children)  UKSC 36 (see above). Full post: Law and Lawyers.
Forensic ferrets (or “Standing in the way of (beyond parental) control”)
A discussion of the little-used limb of the threshold criteria, and the interesting and deeply sad case of Re K (A Child: Post Adoption Breakdown) (above). Another post in his own inimitable style (and spacing) by suesspiciousminds.