News Update: 16th of July 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Equal marriage bill passes Third Reading in House of Lords
The equal marriage bill for England and Wales has passed its Third Reading in the House of Lords, following a brief and impassioned final debate. Full story: PinkNews.

Fourth View from the President’s Chambers updates the reform process
In his fourth View from the President's Chambers [see under 'Articles', below], Sir James Munby provides an update of the reforms to the family justice system. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the blog post, below.

Court of Appeal to consider the test for challenge by parents who have not consented to adoption
Lord Justice McFarlane has given permission to a mother to appeal against a refusal to allow her to oppose an application for the adoption of her two eldest children. The B-S (Children) case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

Kingston Council's children's care still 'inadequate'
A council criticised for not stepping in before a father murdered his partner in front of their toddler has been deemed "inadequate" by Ofsted a second time. Full story: BBC News.

Bill to reform criminal law of child neglect fails to receive second reading in Commons
The Children's charity Action for Children is calling on MPs not to ignore the needs of vulnerable neglected children after a bill to reform the law on child neglect failed to get a hearing in parliament. Full story: Family Law Week.

Research paper explores family courts’ response to applications for enforcement of contact orders
The Nuffield Foundation has published a briefing paper which summarises findings from research into how and why the family courts respond to applications for enforcement of a contact order following alleged non-compliance. Full story: Family Law Week.

Online Family Court Guide to public law proceedings published
The Judiciary website has published a Family Court Guide, constituting a framework of good practice which sets out Presidential Guidance, the rules and Practice Directions of the court and associated web based resources for those using and working in the family justice system. Full story: Family Law Week.

Most babies born out of marriage by 2016, trend suggests
The majority of babies born in three years' time will have parents who are not married, official figures suggest. Full story: BBC News.

Wasted costs order made against non-party local authority
LA directed to prepare section 37 report is ‘closely connected’ to private law proceedings. The HB v PB case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.

Pre-proceedings involvement of family court advisers helps the avoidance of care proceedings, finds pilot study
The Cafcass Pre-Proceedings Pilot which sought to test the added value of the family court adviser in pre-proceedings practice in public law cases is now complete in Coventry and Warwickshire and sufficiently progressed in Liverpool that the researchers are able to report on the initiative. Full story: Family Law Week. See also the article and the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

The Child Support and Claims and Payments (Miscellaneous Amendments and Change to the Minimum Amount of Liability) Regulations 2013
These Regulations make a consequential amendment to Schedule 1 to the Child Support Act 1991 arising from the increase to the flat rate of child support maintenance from £5 to £7 for cases in which liability for child support maintenance is calculated under Part 1 of Schedule 1 to the 1991 Act, as amended.

Re W [2013] EWHC 1957 (Fam) (22 May 2013)
Application by Local Authority for permission to invoke the inherent jurisdiction, with a view to the Local Authority seeking the revocation of an Adoption Order. Permission refused. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

Re SK [2013] EWHC (COP) (24 May 2013)
Judgment in proceedings under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 concerning a mentally incapacitated adult aged 56, concerned with the question of his residence. Full report: Family Law Week.

B-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 813 (14 June 2013)
Application by mother for permission to appeal against refusal of permission to oppose adoption after placement order. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week. See also the news story above and the post by suesspiciousminds, below.

Re A (Fact-Finding Hearing: Non-Accidental Injury) [2013] EWCA (4 July 2013)
Appeal by local authority against finding that it was not possible to conclude that injuries to the children were non-accidental. appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

HB v PB [2013] EWHC 1956 (Fam) (09 July 2013)
Application by father in private law children proceedings for a costs order against the local authority, which had been directed to file a s.37 report. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above and the blog posts, below.

Tattersall v Tattersall [2013] EWCA Civ 774 (09 July 2013)
Appeal by husband against ancillary relief order dividing the capital unequally and ordering him to pay periodical payments. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Re P (Prohibited Steps Order: Removal From Jurisdiction) [2013] EWCA (2 July 2013)
Appeal by mother against prohibited steps order preventing her from removing the child from the jurisdiction. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

Piercing the corporate veil
"The unanimous judgment of the Supreme Court in Petrodel Resources Ltd v Prest led to a media circus. Now the dust has settled, we have more clarity on the repercussions of the case for those involved in family and company law." Says Nicholas Bennett, in this article in the Law Society Gazette.

View from the President's Chambers 4
The process of reform : an update. Full article: Judiciary of England & Wales (PDF).

Evidence, Practice and Procedure: Consent orders and costs guidance from the Court of Appeal
Emezie v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 733 was an appeal allowed against a costs order - ‘no order as to costs' - made by Mostyn J in a judicial review housing case, where the housing authority settled a judicial review case after issue by the applicant. Full article: Family Law.

Effecting change in local family justice systems? Findings from the Cafcass Pre-Proceedings Pilot
Dr Karen Broadhurst of Lancaster University explains the findings of a recently completed pilot involving family court advisers in public law pre-proceedings practice. Full article: Family Law Week.

It’s as plainly wrong as the nose on your face
"In Re BS (Children) 2013 [above], Permission was granted by MacFarlane LJ for an appeal from a decision of Parker J to refuse leave to oppose an adoption hearing, and it seems, from the reading of his decision, that he probably would have refused permission to appeal prior to Re B." Says suesspiciousminds, in this post.

New guidance on allocation, transparency and family orders
The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has issued his fourth View from the President’s Chambers [see under News and Articles, above] which includes new guidance on standardisation of family orders, allocation and gate keeping, and transparency in family proceedings. Full post: Family Law Blog.

Voice of the child in pre-proceedings work
Suesspiciousminds discusses the pre-proceedings pilot [see above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Here comes my nineteenth nervous (adoption) breakdown
Suesspiciousminds looks at Re W [2013] [above]: "A quirky little case, considering what happens when an adoptive placement breaks down to the point where all concerned would really like to effectively delete the adoption order." Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Making costs orders against a non-party – is that the sound of floodgates opening?
"The High Court have determined in Re HB, PB and London Borough of Croydon 2013 [above], that a Court may legitimately make an order for wasted costs against an agency who was not a party to proceedings." Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Crunchy numbers
The prolific suesspiciousminds examines how many care cases a lawyer has to do to cover his wages, in this post.

Costs orders against local authorities in private law proceedings
A High Court Judge has taken the unusual step of ordering a local authority to pay a parent’s legal costs [HB v PB, above]. Full post: Family Matters.

Stories from the conflict zone
Being ‘conflicted out’ of a case is 
a challenge you must deal with quickly 
and cleanly, before it goes too far 
says Marilyn Stowe, in this post.

International Surrogacy - Is a global response achievable?
A report published this week examines the legal structures relating to surrogacy across the EU Membership. Full post: Family Matters.

Contact after Adoption - Is it still the exception?
A Judge in the High Court has taken the unusual step of making an order providing for an adopted child to have a continuing relationship with his birth family [the MF v LB of Brent case]. Full post: Family Matters.