News Update: 19th of February 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Supreme Court will decide this week whether finding of fact can be relied upon in respect of later children
The Supreme Court is due to hand down its judgment on Wednesday, 20th February in Re J (Children). Full story: Family Law Week.
Judge blocks sterilisation of Down's Syndrome woman
The parents of a “tactile” and “affectionate” woman with Down’s syndrome have been forbidden from having her sterilised to allay their fears that she might become pregnant. Full story: The Telegraph. The A Local Authority v K case - see below.
Heterosexual couples challenge 'discriminatory' civil partnerships bar
Laws restricting civil partnerships to gay couples discriminate against heterosexuals, four straight couples are to argue in a landmark challenge at the European Court of Human Rights. Full story: The Telegraph.
Conspiracy of silence on value of marriage: Politicians frightened to admit fathers are vital, says top family lawyer
Marriage is as important to the future of the nation as climate change and poverty, a senior family lawyer [i.e. Ruth Deech] said yesterday. Full story: Daily Mail.
Cabinet minister: Gay couples cannot provide safe environment for children
The Welsh secretary has said gay couples "clearly" cannot provide a "warm and safe environment" in which to raise children. Full story: BBC News.
Court of Appeal: Retirement of Lord Justice Ward
Lord Justice Ward retired from the Court of Appeal on 15 February 2013. Full story: Ministry of Justice.
Judge blocks 'worrying' attempt to take girl away from blind adoptive mother
A council has been blocked from removing a girl from her would-be adoptive mother who had gone blind, after a judge ruled social workers were wrong to assume that her visual impairment meant she was not a suitable parent. Full story: The Telegraph. The RCW v A Local Authority case - see below.
Judge: House prices are undermining marriage
A High Court judge [i.e. Sir Paul Coleridge] today warned of the “real danger” that high property prices were deterring couples from marrying and fuelling relationship breakdowns. Full story: London Evening Standard.
Charity warns of foster carer shortfall
At least 9,000 new foster families will be needed across the UK this year to look after the record numbers of children in care who need to be fostered, research by the Fostering Network has revealed. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Support for new child care target
Family lawyers’ group Resolution has expressed support for the introduction of a 26-week target for care cases, but warned the needs of children must remain paramount. Full story: New Law Journal.
Minister clashes with MP over 'gold standard' marriage claim
Culture Secretary Maria Miller has clashed with a Labour MP after describing marriage as a "gold standard" that people aspire to. Full story: BBC News.
Divorcees to plunder their partners' pensions
Hundreds of thousands of divorcees may have to hand over more of their pension to their former spouse. Full story: The Telegraph.
The Immigration (Procedure for Formation of Civil Partnerships) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
These Regulations amend the list of registration authorities in the Schedule to the Immigration (Procedure for formation of Civil Partnerships) Regulations 2011 by replacing reference to Cardiganshire North with Ceredigion.
A bumper crop of cases this week:
R (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1903 (20 December 2012)
Application for permission to appeal against an order requiring the mother to return the child to Singapore. Application refused. Full report: Family Law Hub.
A London Borough v A & Ors  EWHC 96 (Fam) (15 February 2013)
Care proceedings involving three children, in a case where it had previously been found that the father was responsible for the death of a fourth child. Full report: Bailii. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.
AB v BB & Ors  EWHC 227 (Fam) (13 February 2013)
Contact application by father in case involving serious violence against the mother. Ordered that there should be no contact, save for limited indirect contact. Full report: Bailii.
A Local Authority v K  EWHC 242 (COP) (15 February 2013)
Application brought by a local authority for a best interests' determination in relation to issues of contraception for, and sterilisation of, a 21 year old woman suffering from Down's Syndrome. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.
T v T  EWHC 3462 (Fam) (29 November 2012)
Application by the wife for an injunction to restrain the husband from pursuing proceedings in the USA, where a pre-marital agreement had been signed. Application dismissed. Full report: Family Law Hub.
N v A (Abduction from Pakistan)  EWHC 3954 (Fam) (21 December 2012)
Application for the summary return of a child to Pakistan. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week.
S v T (Permission to Relocate to Russia)  EWHC (7 December 2012)
Application by mother for permission to relocate with the child to Russia. The mother was granted permission to relocate conditional upon her obtaining an order from the Russian court based on the parties' contact proposals. Report: Family Law.
Re G-B  EWCA (7 February 2013)
Care proceedings. Appeal by mother after judge refused adjournment so that she could change solicitors. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.
RCW v A Local Authority  EWHC 235 (Fam) (12 February 2013)
Application by prospective adopter for an injunction to prevent the local authority from removing the child from her care. Injunction granted. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above, and my post, below.
G (A Child)  EWCA Civ 54 (16 January 2013)
Application by a mother for permission to appeal against determination that she would not be able to look after her daughter. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
Gill v Draper  EWCA Civ 58 (15 January 2013)
Application by husband for permission to appeal against decree nisi. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
W (A Child)  EWCA Civ 61 (17 January 2013)
Mother's application for permission to appeal care and placement orders. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
G-F (Children)  EWCA Civ 50 (14 January 2013)
Applications for permission to appeal against care and placement orders by mother and maternal grandmother. Applications refused. Full report: Bailii.
W (A Child)  EWCA Civ 48 (16 January 2013)
Applications by mother for permission to appeal orders made during the course of care proceedings. Applications refused. Full report: Bailii. See also this post.
F (Children)  EWCA Civ 49 (14 January 2013)
Application by father for permission to appeal against residence order. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
A (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1890 (11 December 2012)
Application by a mother for permission to appeal against an adoption order. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
H (A Child)  EWCA Civ 72 (13 February 2013)
Appeal by mother against order lifting a restriction upon the father taking the child to his home. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, below.
Children: Private Law Update: February 2013
Alex Verdan QC of 4 Paper Buildings considers three important recent judgments in Children private law proceedings. Full article: Family Law Week.
The Children and Families Bill – what private children lawyers need to know
Piers Pressdee QC, of 29 Bedford Row, examines the private children law provisions of the newly introduced Children and Families Bill. Full article: Family Law Week.
Repatriation of EU family law powers, Part II
David Hodson continues his series examining areas where family law powers taken by the EU could (and should) pass back to the UK and other member states.
Committal for contempt; non-disclosure
"Two recent cases point up the pitfalls for judges and advocates alike in the area of civil proceedings committals to prison." Says David Burrows in this article on Family Law.
The cost of occupation
Geraldine Morris examines the issues of occupation rent & equitable accounting in cohabitant cases. Full article: New Law Journal.
“Finding” out the hard way
A discussion of the High Court decision of A London Borough v A and Others 2013 [above], and what it tells us about coming to terms with difficult findings. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Relocation Applications and the 1996 Hague Convention
A discussion of the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children. Full post: Family Matters.
RCW v A Local Authority: An unusual and troubling case
A summary of RCW v A Local Authority  EWHC 235 (Fam) (12 February 2013) [above]. Full post: Family Lore.
Children must not pay price of targets to reduce time on care proceedings
BASW professional officer Sue Kent examines the issues raised by a new report from the Child Protection All Party Parliamentary Group, which highlights a family courts system under extreme pressure. Full post: BASW.
H (A Child):The harm of delay
A brief discussion of H (A Child)  EWCA Civ 72 (13 February 2013) [above]. Full post: Family Lore.
Court of appeal sweepstake
Yet more pondering about the 26 week timetable unofficial roll-out a year in advance of the projected Children and Families Bill becoming law, and whether there is a hint in the Family Modernisation second update, from the irrepressible suesspiciousminds.