News Update: 29th of January 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
High Court grants anonymity in TOLATA dispute
Mr Justice Mostyn reviews law on anonymisation and freedom of expression. The W v M case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.
Research into long-term effects of children adopted from foreign orphanages published
The British Association for Adoption and Fostering has published new research into the long-term effects and outcomes for children adopted from orphanages and other institutions from abroad. Full story: Family Law Week.
Equal Marriage a step closer as legislation published
A Government commitment to open up marriage to same-sex couples took an important step forward today with the publication of the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill. Full story: Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
Family Justice Board action plan published
"This plan sets out the actions the Board and its partners will take to achieve the Government's vision of a family justice system that supports the delivery of the best possible outcomes for all children who come into contact with it." Full story: Ministry of Justice. See also my summary, here.
Adoption: Councils could lose powers, says government
Councils in England could lose their powers over adoption services if they take too long to find adoptive parents, ministers have announced. Full story: BBC News.
Council adoption services at risk from 'heavy-handed' shake-up
Government plans to strip councils of responsibility for adoption if they are slow to find new families for children could be damaging to vulnerable youngsters, critics claim. Full story: The Guardian.
Eight councils fail new child-protection spot checks
Eight councils in England have failed new spot checks on child protection in the past six months. Full story: BBC News.
Property laws for cohabiting couples 'unfair', judge says
Property laws for cohabiting couples are “unfair” on women who are often left with nothing after separating from their partners, an appeal court judge said on Wednesday. Full story: The Telegraph.
President queries separate representation of parties who ‘stand together’ in care proceedings
Sir James Munby in his first published judgment as President of the Family Division has questioned the separate representation of parties who share a common interest. The Re TG case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.
Many public law child cases will not conclude within 26 weeks, magistrates warn
Magistrates have warned that many public law children cases will not be concluded within the proposed 26-week timeframe for care proceedings, it has emerged. No surprise there. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.
Legal Services Board questions the benefits of the ‘cab rank rule’
The Legal Services Board has published a report analysing the impact on the market of paragraphs 601-610 of the of the Bar Standards Board's code, otherwise known as the 'cab rank rule'. Full story: Family Law Week.
The NHS Trust v AW  EWHC 78 (COP) (23 January 2013)
Application by NHS Trust for a declaration that it is lawful for them to withdraw active medical treatment from a 57 year-old woman in a permanent vegetative state. Application granted. Full report: Bailii.
BP v KP and NI (Financial Remedy Proceedings: Res Judicata)  EWHC 2995 (Fam) (26 October 2012)
Judgment on preliminary issue of whether W was barred by operation of the doctrine of res judicata from asserting in financial remedy proceedings that an agreement said by H to have been formed in early March 2008 was either the product of collusive fraud or, if not actually fraudulent, was in fact formed in 2010. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below.
W v M (TOLATA Proceedings: Anonymity)  EWHC 1679 (Fam) (25 June 2012)
TOLATA Proceedings. Application for an order that in the proceedings at the main hearing, and in the final judgment, all relevant people and places be anonymised. Full report: Bailii. See also the Family Law Week news story, above.
Cambra v Jones & Ors  EWHC 88 (Fam) (25 January 2013)
Hearing relating to the enforcement of an order requiring the mother to return the children to Spain. Full report: Bailii.
Prest v Prest & Anor  EWHC 2956 (Fam) (04 October 2011)
Ancillary relief application in which the court ordered companies controlled by the husband to transfer assets to the wife in or towards satisfaction of her financial remedy claim. The original Prest decision. Full report: Bailii.
DL v EL (Hague Abduction Convention - Effect of Reversal of Return Order on Appeal)  EWHC 49 (Fam) (17 January 2013)
Application by father for return of the child to Texas. Application refused. Full report: Family Law Week.
C (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1787 (25 October 2012)
Appeal by grandparents against placement order. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.
Hamilton v Hamilton  EWCA Civ 13 (24 January 2013)
Appeal by husband against variation of lump sum order made by consent. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also the summary post by me and the comment post by Marilyn Stowe, below.
S (findings of fact), Re  EWHC 15 (Fam) (14 January 2013)
Fact-finding hearing in proceedings relating to mother's applications for non-molestation and prohibited steps order, and father's application for contact. Full report: Bailii.
TG (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 5 (22 January 2013)
Care proceedings involving serious injuries to child. The parents believed at least some of the injuries may have been caused when the child was in a bouncy chair. Application by father for permission to appeal against refusal to allow expert evidence from a biomechanical engineer. Permission granted but appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also the Family Law Week news story above, the Family Law article below and the suesspiciousminds blog post, also below.
Limitations on appeals against case management decisions, on instruction of experts and over-representation by lawyers
"In Re TG (A Child)  EWCA Civ 5 [above] Sir James Munby P (sitting with Aikens LJ and Sir Mark Hedley) set down a series of markers for the ordering of opinion evidence and appeals from case management decisions - especially in children proceedings." Says David Burrows in this article on Family Law.
An ABC of forum disputes
"The recently reported High Court decision of AB v CB  EWHC 3841 (hence the ABC!) contains helpful guidance on a number of aspects arising in family law forum issues and is a valuable addition to international family law case law." Says David Hodson in this article on Family Law.
In England, justice is open to all, like the Ritz Hotel
Is there a difference in family justice provided to middle-class parents? A discussiony paranoidy rant… by suesspiciousminds.
BP v KP and NI (Financial Remedy Proceedings: Res Judicata)
A brief summary of BP v KP and NI (Financial Remedy Proceedings: Res Judicata)  EWHC 2995 (Fam) [above]. Full post: Family Lore.
“The purifying ordeal of skilled argument on the specific facts of a contested case”
A discussion of the Court of Appeal decision in Re TG (A Child) 2013 [above], by suesspiciousminds.
Statutory orphans 2 (erm, “This time it’s practical”?)
The High Court have given some guidance [in A City Council v DC 2012] on how to deal with applications by a Local Authority to revoke a Freeing Order when their plan is no longer adoption. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Hamilton v Hamilton: Varying a lump sum order
A brief summary of Hamilton v Hamilton  EWCA Civ 13 [above], by me on Family Lore.
“All right then, I WILL give evidence
A discussion of the very tricky problem in Re R (A Child) 2012, by suesspiciousminds.
“Two thirds of children who died of abuse in 2012 could have been saved”
"An examination of this very shocking claim from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England report, and discussion of the report itself." Full post: suesspiciousminds, who obviously has nothing better to do with his time than write great blog posts.
Marital settlements: single lump sums vs multiple lump sums
"A new judgement [Hamilton v Hamilton, above] delivered by Mrs Justice Baron, sitting with Lord Justices Thorpe and Kitchin, was published by the Court of Appeal yesterday. It involves a relatively small sum of money, but also some tricky money-based family law." Says Marilyn Stowe.