News Update: 18th of June 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Consultation outcome: The Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013
Government response to the consultation on the draft Child Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2013, which invited views on a small number of proposed changes to the 2012 child maintenance scheme. Full story: GOV.UK.
Family lawyers divided over Prest decision
The Supreme Court’s decision [below] to order an oil tycoon to hand over assets held by his companies to his former wife has been hailed as a victory for fairness and justice by lawyers. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Social work-bashing report challenged
Findings of a report by a right-wing thinktank describing the future for social workers as “bleak” was challenged by BASW’s Interim Chief Executive, Bridget Robb. Full story: BASW News. See also the story in The Independent, below.
Parliamentary Committee welcomes Government review of extension of civil partnerships to opposite sex couples
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has published its report scrutinising the provisions of the Marriage Bill. Full story: Family Law Week.
New ‘Fostering for Adoption’ guidance for social workers published by Coram and BAAF
New practical guidance has been published to help local authorities implement 'Fostering for Adoption' with the aim of ensuring more children can live with their potential permanent carers at the earliest possible stage of the adoption process. Full story: Family Law Week.
New video celebrates role of both parents in separated families
The positive role that both parents in a separated family can play in a child’s upbringing is being celebrated in a new video today. Full story: GOV.UK.
Ofsted unveils tougher child protection inspections
Child protection and looked-after children's services will be deemed ‘inadequate’ even if just part of their work is failing, under plans unveiled by Ofsted to toughen up inspections. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Lack of social workers putting vulnerable children at risk
Vulnerable children are being put at risk by a chronic shortage of experienced social workers, according to research. The supply of social workers will not equal demand until 2022, according to a paper from the think-tank Policy Exchange, a situation it says could have “tragic implications”. Full story: The Independent. See also the BASW News story, above.
Legal advice on divorce prompts most legal complaints
Divorce cases have prompted the most complaints about lawyers in the last year with individuals being urged to shop around for legal advice. Full story: BBC News.
Courts will not give up on girl abducted by mother, judge warns
Judge issues warning two years after Humma Dar disappeared with daughter Aamina Khan after girl's father was given custody. Full story: The Guardian.
Family President clarifies when use of expert is 'necessary' in proceedings
The President of the Family Division has clarified when the use of an expert witness is ‘necessary’ under guidance he gave earlier this year. See Re H-L (A Child), below. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.
One in three children whose single parent works part-time now in poverty
Government figures published today show that the proportion of children from single parent families where the parent works part-time but who still live in poverty, has leapt from one in four (23 per cent) to almost one in three (31 per cent) in just one year. Full story: Gingerbread.
Essex police criticised over handling of domestic violence cases
A police force criticised over the murders of three women and a young girl in domestic violence cases needs to do more to target men who repeatedly abuse their victims, an inspector's report says today. Full story: The Independent.
Prest ruling likely to lead to more divorce planning
The Supreme Court ruling [below] allowing a wife to access assets held by her husband's companies will encourage the tying up of assets in business, family lawyers have said. Full story: Solicitors Journal.
Immigration control takes priority over children’s best interests, concludes Joint Committee on Human Rights
The Joint Committee on Human Rights has called for extensive reforms in the way that unaccompanied migrant children are treated on their arrival in the United Kingdom. Full story: Family Law Week.
Supreme Court dismisses parents' appeal against care order
The Supreme Court in Re B (A Child) UKSC 33 [below] has dismissed an appeal by parents against a care order made in respect of their daughter on the basis of a risk to her of future psychological or emotional harm under section 31 of the Children Act 1989. Full story: Family Law Week.
Supreme court chooses the 'third way' in Prest divorce case
Lord Sumption's ruling [below] resolves the dilemma of enforcing the law and doing judgment. Full story: The Guardian.
Supreme Court upholds wife’s appeal in Prest v Petrodel
The Supreme Court has unanimously allowed the appeal by Yasmine Prest [below] to treat assets held by companies and trusts within her former husband’s control as matrimonial assets that should be transferred to her as part of a £17.5m divorce settlement. Full story: Solicitors Journal.
LGA and Barnardo's warn of 'reckless' adoption changes
The entire adoption system could be significantly damaged unless proposed reforms are reconsidered, Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association (LGA) have warned. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2013
These rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 by amending the definition of a “financial order” in rule 2.3(1) so that it includes an order for payment in respect of legal services under section 22ZA of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 or Part 8 of Schedule 5 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004, in consequence of the commencement of sections 49 to 54 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
The Family Proceedings Fees (Amendment) Order 2013
This Order amends the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008. It increases certain fees that are payable in family proceedings in England and Wales in the Senior Courts and county courts by the cumulative rate of inflation since those fees were last increased.
CM v The Executor of the Estate of EJ & Ors  EWHC 1680 (Fam) (14 June 2013)
Application for declaration relating to the removal of blood and tissue samples from a deceased person, for the purpose of testing for blood-borne diseases. Full report: Bailii.
W (A Child)  EWCA Civ 662 (8 May 2013)
Appeal by parents against findings of fact regarding injuries to child. appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.
LCG v RL  EWHC 1383 (Fam) (23 May 2013)
Application by mother for return of children to Spain. Application granted. Full report: Bailii.
Re H-L (A Child)  EWCA Civ 655 (13 June 2013)
Appeal by mother in care proceedings against refusal of application for permission to instruct three expert medical witnesses. Guidance given regarding the new test on the use of experts in family proceedings. Full report: Judiciary of England and Wales (PDF). HTML version: Bailii. See also the news story above and the blog post, below..
T v M  EWHC 1585 (Fam) (23 April 2013)
Appeal by husband against striking out of application to vary a maintenance order. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.
Prest v Petrodel Resources Limited and others  UKSC 34 (12 June 2013)
Appeal dealing with issue of Whether it is open to the court in ancillary relief proceedings to treat the assets of a company of which a spouse is the sole controller as being assets to which that spouse is ‘entitled’ for the purposes of s 24(1)(a) MCA. Full report: Supreme Court (PDF). HTML version: Bailii. See also the news stories and articles.
In the matter of B (a Child)  UKSC 33 (12 June 2013)
Appeal dealing with issue of Whether a child of two years of age should be permanently removed from her parents and placed for adoption. In that regard, whether the child was likely to suffer significant harm within the meaning of s.31(2)(a) of the Children Act, and whether her permanent removal was a proportionate response to any such risk that she did face. Full report: Supreme Court (PDF). HTML version: Bailii. See also the news story, articles and blog posts.
Prizzia v Hungary (Application No 20255/12) (11 June 2013)
Application by father applied to ECHR claiming that the Hungarian authorities failed to ensure the enforcement of decisions concerning contact with his child in breach of Art 8. Held, the Hungarian authorities had acted in breach of the father's Art 8 European Convention rights. Report: Family Law. Full report: ECHR.
Sir Mark Hedley: The judge who opened the doors to Britain’s most secretive court
Sir Mark Hedley decided that the public should know about the judiciary’s highly sensitive rulings. He tells Emily Dugan why. Full article: The Independent.
Re B (A Child) – Social Engineering or Proportionate Response to Risk of Future Harm?
Janet Bazley QC and Eleri Jones of 1 Garden Court consider the Supreme Court’s decision in Re B (A Child)  UKSC 22 [above]. Full article: Family Law Week.
Changes to public law
The pressures on the public purse as much as those of the present Conservative government have brought about yet more radical changes to public law proceedings. Full article: Law Society Gazette.
Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 14 June 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights (guess which two cases?). Full article: Family Law.
Stripping Away the Veil of Deceit: Prest v Petrodel
John Wilson QC of 1 Hare Court analyses the Supreme Court’s judgment in the landmark case of Prest v Petrodel [above] and considers its implications for family lawyers. Full article: Family Law Week.
Care Proceedings: the Operation and Effect of Pre-Proceedings – What do lawyers need to know?
Professor Judith Masson, School of Law University of Bristol, and Dr Jonathan Dickens, Centre for Research on Children and Families, University of East Anglia, explain the lessons learned for future practice from research conducted into the use of the pre-proceedings process in care cases. Full article: Family Law Week.
The Supreme Court deploys its Stinger, but does not piece the corporate veil
"Today's decision by the Supreme Court in Petrodel v Prest [above] puts reality back into an important area of family law." Says Jeremy Posnansky QC, in this article on Family Law.
Eating cabin-boys and instructing experts
Suesspiciousminds turns his attention to Re H-L (A Child)  [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Suesspiciousminds gives further consideration to the Supreme Court decision in Re B (A Child) [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Empathy, anxiety and resilience: Lady Hale in the Supreme Court yesterday
Observations on Lady Hale's judgment in Re B (a Child) [above]. Full post: The Not So Big Society.
Supreme Court and emotional harm
Suesspiciousminds considers the supreme Court judgment in Re B (A Child) [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
A case of oversharing
The Law Society has issued social media guidelines for solicitors, but it’s time we do the same for clients, says Marilyn Stowe, in this post on her blog.