News Update: 7th August 2012

WELCOME to the Family Lore News Update.

Items already covered in separate posts since the last update:

Lord Chief Justice’s report marks the increase in rise of PIPs
"The latest Lord Chief Justice's report has been laid before the House of Lords. The Report focuses on the work of the courts and on the wide range of statutory responsibilities which guide his role." Full story: Family Law Week.

Law Society supports family justice modernisation plans
Reactions to Mr Justice Ryder’s report. Full story: Family Law Week.

Refuges 'under threat' from shake-up of benefit rules
A charity that runs refuges for victims of domestic violence has warned it will have to close every one of its centres, and that women will die, because of planned changes to benefit rules. Full story: BBC News.

Girl of 10 can choose to convert from Judaism to Christianity, judge rules
A 10-year-old Jewish girl has been permitted to become a Christian after a judge rejected claims by her mother that she had been “brainwashed” and was too young to change faith. The Re C (A Child) case. Full story: The Telegraph.

Transcript of Press Conference on Modernisation of Family Justice
The transcript of the press conference held by The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Justice Goldring and Mr Justice Ryder can be found here (PDF).

Judge says religious couple's brain-damaged baby can be allowed to die
A judge has ruled that a severely brain-damaged baby boy can be allowed to die even though his devoutly religious parents wanted him to be kept on a life-support system. The NHS Trust v Baby X case - see below. Full story: The Telegraph.

New civil partnerships rise by 6.4 per cent in 2011
The Office for National Statistics has released a new statistical bulletin concerning civil partnerships in the UK. The figures contained in the bulletin show that the total number of civil partnerships is much higher than the original Government estimate. Full story: Family Law Week.

The Adoption Agencies (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012
These Regulations amend the Adoption Agencies (Wales) Regulations 2005, which make provision about the exercise by adoption agencies (that is, local authorities and registered adoption societies) of their functions in relation to adoption under the Adoption and Children Act 2002. Statutory Instrument.

The Public Bodies (Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission: Abolition and Transfer of Functions) Order 2012
The Public Bodies Act 2011 provides for the abolition, and associated transfer of functions, by order of any body specified in Schedule 1 to that Act. The Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission is a body listed in that Schedule. Statutory Instrument.

MA v JA and the Attorney General [2012] EWHC 2219 (Fam) (27 July 2012)
Application for a declaration under section 55(a) of the Family Law Act 1986 that a marriage which took place at a mosque was valid. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week.

Re CA (A Baby) [2012] EWHC 2190 (Fam) (30 July 2012)
Proceedings involving the making of care and placement orders, in which the mother successfully claimed a breach of human rights in connection with the obtaining by the local authority of a s.20 consent. Full report: Bailii. Discussed by suesspiciousminds and ObiterJ in Law and Lawyers - see below.

NHS Trust v Baby X & Ors [2012] EWHC 2188 (Fam) (30 July 2012)
Case concerning the question of whether a baby who suffered irreversible brain damage should be removed from a ventilator and made the subject only of palliative care. Mr Justice Hedley held that he should. He concluded sadly:
“My last words must be of profound sympathy to [the parents], whose loss and sorrow can I think only be grasped by those who also have passed through the valley of the shadow of death with their own children.”
Full report: Bailii. Discussed by ObiterJ in Law and Lawyers - see below.

XCC v AA & Anor [2012] EWHC 2183 (COP) (26 July 2012)
Court of Protection proceedings in which a woman lacking capacity was subject to an arranged marriage. Mrs Justice Parker declared that it was in her best interests for a nullity application to be issued by the Official Solicitor as her litigation friend. Full report: Bailii. Also discussed by ObiterJ in Law and Lawyers - see below.

Implications of Hague 2007 being implemented
"If domestic child maintenance regulations can be described as labyrinthine then by analogy any consideration of the rules of reciprocal enforcement are similar to sinking in quicksand whilst listening to Songs of Love and Hate by Leonard Cohen." So begins this article by Melanie Barnes on Family Law.

The Issue of Costs following the Supreme Court Decision in T (Children) – ‘Not about the money?’
Dorothea Gartland, barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings and Penny Logan, principal lawyer at Cafcass consider the lessons to be learned from T (Children). Full article: Family Law Week.

Judge decides that Jewish girl could be baptised
A commentary by David Hart QC upon the case Re C (A Child) [2012] EW Misc 15 (CC). Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.

Surrogacy: a special case?
Marilyn writes: "I am delighted to publish a post today by Cameron Paterson, a journalist with an interest in legal matters. He has written about a new case in the High Court, involving the breakdown of a marriage between husband and wife who are also the parents of a child, born to them via a surrogate mother." Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

Mr Justice Ryder proposes to overhaul our family courts
Marilyn Stowe discusses Mr Justice Ryder's proposals for the modernisation of family justice. Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.

A trilogy of important family law cases
"In this post I draw attention to some recent cases which illustrate the immensely difficult work undertaken by the judges in the High Court's Family Division and in the Court of Protection." Full post: Law and Lawyers.

“I need two volunteers – you, and you” – how ‘voluntary’ is voluntary accommodation?
"A consideration of the High Court decision in Re CA (A Baby) [see above] and whether it is now legitimate for a social worker to ask a mother to agree voluntary accommodation of a baby." Full post: suesspiciousminds.

‘Post Adoption Placement Breakdown’ – a gripping whodunnit!
Social worker and solicitor Allan Norman discusses the case Re K (A Child: Post Adoption Placement Breakdown) in this post on The Not So Big Society.