News Update: 15th of October 2013
WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.
Campaign for reform of child neglect law gathers momentum
A campaign to reform the law on child neglect is strengthening in the run up to the second reading of the Child Maltreatment Private Members' Bill on 22 November 2013. Full story: Family Law.
Peer makes fresh attempt at cohabitation rights bill
Lib Dem peer Lord Marks has introduced a new cohabitation bill, just two years after the government decided not to act on the recommendations of the Law Commission. Full story: Solicitors Journal.
Court approves Sch 1 compromise agreement despite mother’s breach of terms
Mr Justice Keehan has approved a compromise agreement in respect of a mother's application under Schedule 1 to the Children Act 1989 notwithstanding that she acted in breach of the agreement. The TW v PL case - see below. Full story: Family Law Week.
Britain's married minority
Married couples have officially become a minority in the UK after the number of people choosing not to tie the knot surged by 3.6 million in just 10 years, final results from the census show. Full story: The Telegraph.
High Court orders two sisters must receive MMR vaccine
A judge has ruled that sisters aged 15 and 11 must have the MMR vaccine even though they and their mother do not want it, BBC Newsnight has learned. The F v F case - see below. Full story: BBC News.
High Court Judge slams 'astonishing' cost of six year Court of Protection battle over
High court judge hits out at legal costs as family fights council decision for six years. Full story: The Independent.
Young carers to receive more support under changes to Children and Families Bill
The government has tabled an amendment to the Children and Families Bill to help improve services for young carers. Full story: Family Law Week.
Baby P council apologises for failings in Child T abuse case
Haringey council says it should have intervened more swiftly in case of toddler who at one point had 50 bruises on his body. Full story: The Guardian.
Kill off outdated family law, says retiring Coleridge
The private sector should take the lead in developing more innovative and ‘daring’ alternatives to the ‘bloodshed, time and cost’ of court, according to a retiring family judge. Full story: Law Society Gazette.
Child death reviews: improving the use of evidence
A study investigating how to make better national use of the information collected through the child death review processes. Full story: Department for Education.
Silver splitter surge leaves divorce lawyers with new headache – the meddling children
It is a job which has always required the skills of a diplomat, conflict negotiator, property expert and financial whizz all rolled into one. Full story: The Telegraph.
Ofsted launches new single inspection for children’s services
Ofsted's new single framework for the inspection of local authority services for vulnerable children will come into effect from November 2013. Full story: Family Law.
Cafcass chief wary over recent fall in care applications
The head of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) has dampened hopes that a recent decrease in new care applications represents the start of a sustained fall in children needing protection. Full story: Children & Young People Now.
Charity chiefs back 'once-in-a-generation' change to fostering law
An alliance of 40 charity chiefs and experts is today urging members of the Lords to seize a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to change the law to give young people in foster care the same start in adult life as their peers. Full story: The Telegraph.
Cafcass private law demand
In September 2013, Cafcass received a total of 3834 new private law cases. This is a 6% increase on September 2012 levels. Full story: Cafcass.
Care applications in September 2013
In September 2013, Cafcass received a total of 830 applications. This is the second lowest month this year and a 6% decrease compared to those received in September 2012. Full story: Cafcass.
Civil Partnerships in the UK, 2012
This bulletin presents annual statistics on civil partnerships that were formed in the United Kingdom in 2012. Full story: ONS.
D - R (Children), Re  EWCC 5 (Fam) (10 October 2013)
Application by local authority for care orders in respect of 6 children, where it had been found that one child had suffered a serious non-accidental injury but the perpetrator had not been identified. Full report: Bailii.
F v F  EWHC 2683 (Fam) (05 September 2013)
Application by father for a declaration and a specific issue order that the children receive the MMR vaccination. declaration made. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above.
LCC v A & Ors (Minors By Their Children's Guardian)  EWHC 4033 (Fam) (26 May 2011)
Application by a local authority to invoke the inherent jurisdiction seeking declarations regarding immunisation injections for children who are in their care. Declarations granted. Full report: Bailii.
TW v PL  EWHC 3078 (Fam) (21 August 2013)
Judgment confirming agreement reached settling Schedule 1 claim was binding notwithstanding that the mother had breached a term that was intended to be included as an undertaking. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story above.
W (A Child) v Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council & Ors  EWCA Civ 1227 (11 October 2013)
Appeal by mother against care order made on the basis of a care plan with which the judge did not agree and where the order was opposed by both the local authority and mother.Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post, below.
M-D (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1219 (21 August 2013)
F's application to appeal against a fact-finding judgment, in the context of an application for contact between F and the child, where the judge found that he had inappropriately touched his daughter. Application refused. Full report: Family Law Hub.
Matthews v Matthews  EWCA Civ 1211 (20 August 2013)
Application to appeal various orders in financial remedy proceedings. The W's application to appeal one decision, namely that the judge failed to make an order of nominal spousal maintenance for a limited period in her favour, was allowed. The other grounds were dismissed. Full report: Family Law Hub.
D (A Child)  EWCA Civ 1217 (6 September 2013)
Application by the F to stay a judge's order that the child lives with the M, in circumstances where the local authority's psychiatric assessment of the M was said not to be as comprehensive as it should be. Application granted. Full report: Family Law Hub.
O v O  EWHC 2970 (Fam) (21 August 2013)
Applications by the mother for the return of the child to the USA. Return order made. Full report: Bailii.
TB v DB  EWHC 2075 (Fam) (25 April 2013)
Fact-finding hearing in residence proceedings, dealing with allegations made against the father by the mother. Full report: Bailii.
AW (A Child: Application to Revoke Placement Order: Leave to Oppose Adoption)  EWHC 2967 (Fam) (16 August 2013)
Application by local authority to revoke placement order, and application by parents for leave to oppose the adoption. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post, below.
MJ and JM v The Public Guardian  EWHC 2966 (COP) (22 April 2013)
Application by deputies of person lacking capacity for the retrospective approval of a number of gifts they made from that person's funds. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post, below.
The Public Guardian v C  EWHC 2965 (COP) (22 January 2013)
Application by the Public Guardian for the court to revoke a Lasting Power of Attorney ('LPA') and to direct him to cancel the registration of the LPA. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post, below.
Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 11 October 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.
Judicial Window Dressing and Balance Sheets – Where is adoption post-Re B-S?
Andrew Pack, care lawyer with Brighton & Hove City Council, considers the effect on adoption of the Court of Appeal’s landmark judgment in Re B-S. Full article: Family Law Week.
Stuart Clark on International Family Law: Owusu in the Court of Appeal (An Update)
We reported last month that the question of how the ECJ decision in Owusu relates to family law, especially divorce, was due to be heard by the Court of Appeal. It has previously only been considered at High Court level. This note is intended by way of update. Full article: Family Law.
The Gatekeeping and Allocation – Care Proceedings Pilot: Evaluation by Manchester Metropolitan University
A summary of the evaluation of the Greater Manchester Gatekeeping and Allocation Pilot, which ran between April 2012 and July 2013. Full article: Family Law.
Serious case reviews feed the blame culture
The reviews describe rather than analyse what happened, and so the outcomes are of limited value, says Ray Jones, professor of social work at Kingston University and St George's, University of London. Full article: The Guardian.
Suesspiciousminds may have missed out on an award last week, but he's got a full house this week:
We’re going to need a bigger bundle”
The Court of Appeal decision in Re W (A child) v Neath Port Talbot Council 2013 [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Yet more Serious Case Reviews
Whatever the collective noun for Serious Case Reviews is (a flurry, a murmuring, an avalanche, a papering, an omphaloskepsis*, a whitewashing?) that’s what we’ve had over the last few weeks. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
The decision in Re AW (A Child : Leave to revoke Placement Order : Leave to oppose adoption) 2013 [above] and why it made me blink incessantly whilst trying to figure it out. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
You say “Investing”, I say “embezzling”, let’s call the whole thing off
Suesspiciousminds looks at the Court of Protection case The Public Guardian v C 2013 [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Being a deputy is not a licence to loot
A Court of Protection case has recently tackled the issue of a person with considerable financial means but no capacity to manage her affairs, and the deputies appointed by the Court having made extensive ‘gifts’ from her financial estate and seeking retrospective approval for them: MJ and JM v The Public Guardian 2013 [above]. Full post: suesspiciousminds.
Are we learning anything?
A discussion on Serious Case Reviews, Keanu Williams and Professor Ray Jones. Full post: (you've guessed it) suesspiciousminds.