News Update: 10th of September 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Supreme Court decides that High Court has inherent jurisdiction concerning child who has never lived in England and Wales
Case remitted for urgent consideration as to whether the jurisdiction should be exercised. The A (Children) case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.
Social work leaders criticise landmark child protection ruling
The British Association of Social Workers has spoken out against a landmark legal ruling allowing a father to post a video of police and social workers removing his baby under an emergency protection order. The Re J case - see below. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Care applications in August 2013
In August 2013, Cafcass received a total of 822 applications. This is a 17% decrease compared to those received in August 2012. Full story: Cafcass.
Cafcass private law demand
In August 2013, Cafcass received a total of 4,053 new private law cases. This is a 2% increase on August 2012 levels. Full story: Cafcass.
Foster care myths threaten crisis, claims charity
Myths about foster care are threatening a crisis in the service in the UK, a charity claims. Full story: BBC News.
‘Unrepentant’ judge grants permission to appeal despite contrary view as to test
Mr Justice Mostyn has granted permission to appeal in a case involving s 13 of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 despite misgivings as to the likelihood of the appeal succeeding. The BAJ v RRA case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.
Judge orders abusive mother and autistic son, 25, to live apart
Local council told to put son in a home after mother kept him in squalid conditions with little food. The A Local Authority v WMA & Ors case. Full story: The Guardian.
Judge refuses to allow husband and wife to rekindle their marriage
A judge has refused to allow husband and wife to rekindle their marriage despite them both pleading for a restraining order to be lifted, saying they must first prove they can get on over the phone. Full story: The Telegraph.
Elderly opt to live together outside marriage
A major shift in attitudes toward the idea of “living in sin” among older people has led to a sharp rise in the number of pensioners cohabiting outside of marriage, an official study of census figures suggests. Full story: The Telegraph.
Domestic violence: May orders review of police response
A review is to be carried out into the way police in England and Wales deal with cases of domestic violence, Home Secretary Theresa May has said. Full story: BBC News.
Grayling presses on with civil legal aid cuts
Justice secretary Chris Grayling is forging ahead with cuts to civil legal aid. Full story: Solicitors Journal.
Judge calls for more transparency in family courts
The most senior family judge in England and Wales has demanded more transparency in the courts after rejecting social workers’ attempts to silence a father whose baby was taken into care against his will. The Re J case - see below. Full story: The Telegraph.
Reviewing the Independent Reviewing Officers
The National Children's Bureau is carrying out research funded by the Nuffield Foundation into the role of Independent Reviewing Officers in care cases in England. Full story: Family Law.
Police referrals of domestic violence cases drop 13%
Fall in number of cases being sent to Crown Prosecution Service to be considered for charge coincides with police staff cuts. Full story: The Guardian.
Judges 'favour badly behaved wives', says spurned husband
A property developer whose wife left him for the footballer Cesc Fabregas has accused British judges of favouring “badly behaved” wives as he expressed exasperation over his divorce settlement. Full story: The Telegraph.
C (A Child), Re  EWCA Civ 1369 (11 October 2012)
Application for permission to appeal out of time against care and placement orders. Application granted. Full report: Bailii.
In the matter of A (Children)  UKSC 60 (9 September 2013)
Appeal against decision that child who had never been physically present in England and Wales could not be made a ward of court. Appeal allowed. Full report: Supreme Court (PDF). HTML version: Bailii. See also the news story, above.
R (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1115 (06 September 2013)
Appeal against the discharge of a prohibited steps order that prevented the mother from taking the child to Kenya on holiday. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.
A (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1104 (06 September 2013)
Appeal by father against a residence order and an order for no direct contact. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post below.
Jones (No 2), Re  EWHC 2730 (Fam) (21 August 2013)
Order requiring mother to return children to Spain, despite objections of children. Full report: Bailii.
London Borough of Barnet v X & Anor  EWCC 1 (Fam) (18 April 2006)
Judgment considering local authority care plan for a teen-aged girl. Full report: Bailii.
BAJ v RRA  EWHC 4070 (Fam) (13 December 2011)
Application for leave to apply for financial relief following a foreign divorce pursuant to s.13 Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Application granted. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.
Solomon v Solomon & Ors (Rev 1)  EWCA Civ 1095 (30 July 2013)
Application for permission to appeal against an order striking out an application under s.37 Matrimonial Causes Act 1973. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.
London Borough of Islington v Williams & Anor  EWHC 2692 (Fam) (12 April 2013)
Application by local authority to commit mother to prison for breach of collection order relating to son who had absconded from care. Full report: Bailii.
London Borough of Islington v Williams & Anor  EWHC 2693 (Fam) (18 April 2013)
Judgment dealing with sentencing of mother found to have been in breach of collection order relating to son who had absconded from care. Full report: Bailii.
London Borough of Islington v Ramsey  EWHC 2718 (Fam) (11 April 2013)
Application for committal of father for breach of order to locate and collect his son, who was subject to a care order. Full report: Bailii.
J (A Child), Re  EWHC 2694 (Fam) (05 September 2013)
Application by local authority for reporting restriction order in connection with care proceedings. Full report: Bailii. See also the news stories above and the blog posts below.
C (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1100 (30 July 2013)
Application by grandmother for permission to appeal against care and placement orders. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week.
S (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1089 (30 July 2013)
Father's application for permission to appeal against care and placement orders. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Week.
K (A Child: Wardship: Publicity), Re  EWHC 2684 (Fam) (25 July 2013)
Judgment dealing with issue of whether parents of a ward should be able to discuss the case with the media. Full report: Bailii.
Conrad v Bignell  EWCC 2 (Fam) (03 June 2013)
Mother committed to 28 days imprisonment for failure to comply with order to make son available for contact. Full report: Bailii.
S (Children)  EWCA Civ 1091 (16 July 2013)
Father's application to appeal judge's findings in respect of domestic violence in a contact case. Application refused. Full report: Family Law Hub.
Divorce lawyers: proving our worth
Solicitors must demonstrate the value of a qualified family lawyer in divorce cases. Full article: Law Society Gazette.
David Hodson on International Family Law: Which countries are in the EU?
David Hodson in his opinion piece on international family law, and perhaps prompted by too many rum punches in the Caribbean, looks at the many countries, territories, islands, and other geographical entities which are either part of the EU or linked with the EU in some way and needing family law consideration. Full article: Family Law.
Changes to Child Maintenance
Anna Heenan, Solicitor at Gregg Latchams LLP explains the latest changes to the child support regime. Full article: Family Law Week.
Impact of Universal Credit on spousal maintenance
Nigel Shepherd of Mills & Reeve assesses the impact of Universal Credit on spousal maintenance. Full article: Family Law Hub.
Clarity in committal orders – legal aid for defence of committal
David Burrows looks at Re Jones (Alleged Contempt of Court)  EWHC 2579 (Fam), in this article on Family Law.
Court of Appeal laments systemic failures in family justice
Re A (a child)  EWCA Civ 1104 [above] – Appellate judges are obliged to review systemic failings in the family justice system as a whole, not just the merits of the trial judge’s determination, particularly where the process has deprived the parties of their rights to procedural fairness under Articles 6 and 8. Full post: UK Human Rights Blog.
Re. J (A Child): the family justice system meets the “realities of the internet”
A new judgment [above] handed down by Lord Justice Munby examines, in his words, “important questions about the extent to which the public should be able to read and see what disgruntled parents say when they speak out about what they see as deficiencies in the family justice system.” Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog.
Transparency and vampire-ish creatures
Where we are following the President’s decision in Re J (A Child) 2013 [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Double Whammy Granny
"I was recently gossiping with a solicitor who insisted that a county court local-ish to me had been insisting on charging not one but two issue fees for grandparents private law applications – one on issue and one on permission being granted, i.e. for the substantive s8 application." Says Lucy Reed in this post on Pink Tape.
“Implacably hostile” mothers are a small minority, claims study
"As I noted on this blog back in July, a new study has concluded that although “implacably hostile mothers” exist, they represent a relatively small minority of enforcement cases." Says Marilyn Stowe in this post.