Friday, June 06, 2014

Friday Review: Guidance and good practice

Just after my last post, in which I suggested that it was a slow news week, a couple of news stories and cases popped up to prove me wrong. I will mention here one story and one case.

Clearly, what family lawyers need most is more guidance. Without it, they have obviously been stumbling around in the dark, with nothing more than statute, case law, statutory instruments, rules, practice directions and text books to point them in the right direction. The latest person to step in to fulfil that need is Mr Justice Mostyn, who has produced guidance on standards for financial remedy financial hearings before a High Court judge. Rush over to Family Law to get your copy.

As for the case, I wanted to mention one that has no legal significance, and will certainly not make it into any text book, or be referred to in future as a precedent. It is L (A Child: Rehabilitation to Care of Mother), a care case in which the mother had made 'great strides' and the local authority therefore only sought a supervision order. Judge Clifford Bellamy explained why he chose to publish the judgment thus:
"It is, in my opinion, important that the judgments published are not restricted to those handed down in cases of complexity or where there is some notable or unusual feature or where the court makes criticism of social workers or other professionals. There are many other cases, of which this case is one, which are illustrative of high quality and sympathetic social work practice, of local authorities working in partnership with families to try to support them in caring for their children. In my respectful opinion, cases in which there is evidence of good practice leading to positive outcomes for children and families are just as newsworthy as those which are more problematic."
It would be nice to think that this might be picked up by the media, but alas I doubt it will.

Before I go I wanted to mention the posts I have written this week for Marilyn Stowe's Family Law & Divorce Blog:

Once again, have a good weekend.

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