News Update: 3rd of December 2013

WELCOME to this week's Family Lore News Update.

Domestic violence services 'at breaking point'
Services to help female victims of domestic violence are at "breaking point" because of "shocking gaps" in funding, Women's Aid has warned. Full story: BBC News.

Child protection system is 'beyond breaking point'
The child protection system is "beyond breaking point" and social workers are facing increasing pressure, a report by MPs said. Full story: ITV News.

Doncaster review team to assess future of Birmingham’s troubled children’s services
The government has ended speculation about the immediate future of Birmingham council’s children’s services, announcing a review of the troubled department. Full story: Community Care.

Safeguarding board defends Hamzah Khan review
Bradford Safeguarding Children Board has defended its serious case review into the death of four-year-old Hamzah Khan. Full story: Community Care.

Expert witness fee cut could 'hinder' family court judges
Children’s lawyers and social work bodies have raised concerns that it will be harder to find expert witnesses to give evidence in care cases due to a cut in fees paid to them through the legal aid system. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Autumn Statement 2013: Married couples 'no better off' after tax break
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales is raising doubts about the effectiveness of David Cameron's £700 million plan to cut taxes for married couples. Full story: The Telegraph.

Beneficiaries of offshore trusts ordered to disclose documents
In Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] EWHC 3627 (Fam) Mr Justice Moylan has given a judgment explaining his order in financial remedy proceedings for disclosure by beneficiaries of offshore discretionary trusts who had been joined as parties. Full story: Family Law Week.

Judge Sir Paul Coleridge quit because of lack of ‘support’ over marriage stance
Sir Paul Coleridge, the High Court judge who set up the Marriage Foundation, discloses he decided to step down from the bench because of opposition to his stance on marriage. Full story: The Telegraph.

Holman J calls for maintenance enforcement rules to be simplified
In Constantinides v Constantinides [2013] EWHC 3688 (Fam) [below], Mr Justice Holman has said that the law concerning enforcement of maintenance by imprisonment are 'in dire need of modernisation, simplification and reform'. Full story: Family Law Week.

Research shows how children’s guardians are fulfilling their role
New research by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service, The Work of Cafcass Guardians in Care Cases, sheds light on how children's guardians fulfil their role of being the 'voice of the child' in care proceedings. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family 'foster carers' losing out, says watchdog
People who look after young relatives or friends' children are being treated unfairly by some councils, a local government watchdog says. Full story: BBC News.

Numbers on Welsh child protection registers increase slightly
There were 2,950 children (including unborn children) on local authority child protection registers in Wales at 31 March 2013. Full story: Family Law Week.

Supreme Court to hand down judgment in Hague Convention appeal on 4th December
The Supreme Court will hand down judgment in Re KL (A Child) on Wednesday, 4th December. Full story: Family Law Week.

New figures show smaller rise in adoptions
The rise in the number of children adopted last year was not as high as previously thought, new data analysis suggests. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Police receive new orders to tackle domestic abuse
Tough powers to tackle domestic violence are to be introduced across England and Wales, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

ECtHR rules on duty to carry out ‘in-depth examination’ in Hague Convention child abduction cases
The European Court of Human Rights has delivered a Grand Chamber judgment in the case of X v Latvia [below] in which reunite International Child Abduction Centre intervened. Full story: Family Law Week.

Mediation – the best option for children
Children can be spared the trauma of stressful court battles if their parents use mediation Family Justice Minister Lord McNally said today. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

LJ v JD [2013] EWHC 3632 (Fam) (20 May 2013)
Committal application for breach of domestic violence undertaking. Full report: Bailii.

Shagroon v Sharbatly [2013] EWHC 3756 (Fam)
Judgment in proceedings to enforce undertakings given in the course of proceedings under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Full report: Family Law Week.

X v Latvia (Application no. 27853/09) (26 November 2013)
Referral to Grand Chamber of decision that Latvian courts had breached mother's Article 8 rights when ordering return of child to Australia. Held that there had been a violation of Article 8, the Latvian court having failed to carry out an effective examination of the mother's allegations under Article 13 (b). Full report: ECHR. See also the news story, above.

Constantinides v Constantinides [2013] EWHC 3688 (Fam) (06 November 2013)
Appeal by husband against committal for non-payment of maintenance order. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. See also the news story, above.

Appeal against Refusal of a Consent Order
Can a consent order applicant (or indeed one or both parties) appeal against a district judge's refusal to seal a consent order? Asks David Burrows in this article on Family Law.

Financial Agreements: a ‘Concluded Agreement’ Test?
David Burrows looks at autonomy after Radmacher. Full article: Family Law.

Young v Young - An Analysis of the Judgment
Thomas Dudley, barrister, of 1 Garden Court Chambers provides a detailed guide to 'as complicated a financial remedies case as has been dealt with by the courts'. Full article: Family Law Week.

Legal adventures in New Zealand: litigation lessons from the Kiwis
Byron James, barrister, 14 Grays Inn Square recounts some of his experiences of the New Zealand legal system. Full article: Family Law Week.

Samantha Bangham’s Week in Cases 29 November 2013
Samantha Bangham looks at the week's case highlights. Full article: Family Law.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?
Lucy Reed looks behind the headlines that suggest a woman was forced to have a caesarean so that social services could put her child into care. Full post: Pink Tape.

Clare’s Law (Again)
Lucy Reed has another look at the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme. Full post: Pink Tape.