News Update: 29th of October 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

'Disastrous' drop in out-of-court mediation for divorcing couples
The number of divorcing couples using special out-of-court sessions to settle disputes over property and children has collapsed in the wake of legal aid cuts. Old news perhaps, but interesting that it is now being picked up by a national newspaper. Full story: The Telegraph.

Tougher requirements for independent social work providers rejected
The government has dismissed calls to strengthen requirements for GP-style social work practices to employ registered social workers. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

The President sets out need for cultural change
The President has highlighted the need for cultural change in the family courts in his latest View on the progress of reform [see under Articles, below]. Full story: Family Law Hub.

Welfare benefits cap may force domestic violence victims to stay with their abusers
Research led by the Chartered Institute of Housing into the initial impact of the welfare benefits cap in Haringey has suggested that there are unintended consequences for domestic violence victims. Full story: Family Law Week.

New bulletin for children and young people’s advocates published
The first edition of the Local Government Ombudsman's bulletin for children and young people's advocacy organisations is now available. Full story: Family Law Week.

Hague Child Support Convention Explanatory Report published
The Hague Conference on Private International Law has published the Explanatory Report on the Convention of 23 November 2007 on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance. Full story: Family Law.

Jail social workers who take children without telling parents why, says Britain's top family judge
The country’s most senior family judge yesterday launched a furious attack on social workers who failed to tell parents why their children were being adopted – and suggested that in future the same offence could carry a jail term. The Daily Mail's take on Re W (A Child). For another, possibly more accurate, take see this post on Pink Tape and this story on Family Law Week..

Japan to accede to Hague Convention on Child Abduction on 1st April 2014
The Japan Times reports that the Japanese government proposes to accede to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction on 1st April 2014. Full story: Family Law Week.

Professionals risk failing to spot abuse if they rely on children talking about it
Practitioners' need to build trusting relationships with children emphasised by research project. Full story: Family Law Week.

NSPCC helpline receives 50 calls about neglect each day
Referrals about 18,345 neglected children were made to social services or police in 2012/13 following calls to the NSPCC free, 24-hour helpline, according to report. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family courts sign CPS joint protocol for information sharing
The CPS has published a joint protocol for information sharing in child abuse cases. Full story: Family Law.

Re K (Contact Order: Posed Risk by Father) [2013] EWCA Civ (18 Oct 2013)
Appeal by father against dismissal of residence application and supervised contact order, where the judge had found that he posed a risk to the child. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

Matthews v Matthews [2013] EWCA Civ (21 October 2013)
Appeal by wife against refusal to make a nominal maintenance order. Appeal dismissed. Report: Family Law.

X Local Authority v Trimega Laboratories & Ors [2013] EWCC 6 (Fam) (04 October 2013)
Application by four parties to care proceedings for wasted costs orders against Trimega Laboratories Ltd, arising out of an error made by Trimega in a report following blood alcohol testing. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post below.

R (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1240 (6 September 2013)
Application by mother for permission to appeal against care and placement orders. Application granted in part. Full report: Family Law Week.

S (A Child), Re [2013] EWCA Civ 1254 (24 October 2013)
Residence proceedings. Appeal by step-father against findings of fact against him. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

F (a child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1277 (23 October 2013)
Second appeal against the making of a placement order. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post below.

A v D [2013] EWHC 2963 (Fam) (1 August 2013)
The mother, who was the victim of very serious domestic violence, sought an order revoking the father's parental responsibility. Held, the high threshold for terminating the father's parental responsibility had been met. Report: Family Law. Full report: Bailii. See also the blog post below.

View from the President's Chambers 7
The process of reform: changing cultures. Full article: Judiciary of England and Wales (PDF).

Children: Public Law Update (October 2013)
John Tughan, barrister, of 4 Paper Buildings reviews important recent cases of which all public law practitioners ought to be aware. Full article: Family Law Week.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 25 October 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

‘Family Law Reform: Some Missing Views’ by Rebekah Wilson
"I fear there is another view not being talked about so forcefully within the reform of family justice and in particular care proceedings. These are the views of the current Lord Chancellor, Mr Chris Grayling." Full post: Garden Court Family Law Blog.

Human error in the lab
X Local Authority v Trimega 2013 [above] (this one may make you shudder, as you think of all the cases where scientific results have played a part in the decision). Full post: suesspiciousminds.

A v D: Traversing the threshold to terminate parental responsibility
A brief summary of A v D (Parental Responsibility) [2013] EWHC 2963 (Fam) [above]. Full post: Family Lore.

Placement orders v Court of Appeal part 8
Re F (A child) 2013 [above] - Another Placement Order overturned on appeal (not sent back for re-hearing this time). Full post: suesspiciousminds.

Unravelling the Triad
The judgment of Mostyn J in Lancashire County Council and R 2013. Full post: suesspiciousminds.