Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Review: A few things...


A few things that came to my attention today:

Firstly, Cafcass has published its latest figures for care applications and private law demand, for April. The 'headlines' are quite interesting. As to care applications, these decreased by 13% compared to April 2013. They also decreased by 5% in the period April 2013 to March 2014 compared to the previous year, which was the first fall in the annual rate since the Baby P scandal. Has the tide finally turned? As to private law demand, this fell by 24% compared to April 2013, with the abolition of legal aid no doubt having an effect.

Cafcass also released statistics showing the number of care applications received per 10,000 child population - the rate of care applications - by each local authority in England with children’s services responsibilities. The numbers run from 2008-09, the year of the Baby P case, to 2013-14. They show that over this period the rate of application rose from 5.9 in 2008-09 to 9.7 in 2012-13, a rise of 64%, but that it has dropped to 9.2 in 2013-14. This is lower than 2012-13 levels but is still higher than 2011-12 levels. The full statistics can be found, in spreadsheet form, here.

Moving on, the Judiciary of England and Wales has published Mr Justice Holman's judgment of the 1st of May in the Chai v Peng case. This is the one in which he got rather annoyed at Mr Peng's absence, as reported by The Independent the other day.

Lastly, whilst finding that judgment I could not help noticing that the Judiciary's website has been updated. It is certainly clearer and, mercifully, a lot quicker to load. It also now goes under a new name: 'Courts and Tribunals Judiciary'. I don't know why this is (apart from the general rule that nothing is allowed to stay the same for more than five minutes), but I suppose there must be a good reason.

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