News Essentials: 20th June 2016

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week:

Steep court fee rises are tax on justice, say MPs
Justice select committee condemns big rises in charges for divorce, employment or asylum cases as unjustified. Full story: The Guardian.

Mr Justice MacDonald reminds professionals of responsibilities when considering allegations by children
Actions of some professionals ‘materially prejudiced the welfare of both children’. Full story: Family Law Week. See AS v TH (False Allegations of Abuse).

Supreme Court to decide whether child must have ‘opportunity to be heard’ in disputed custody case
The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in D (A Child) on Wednesday, 22 June. Full story: Family Law Week.

Hundreds of millions of maintenance owed to children is failing to be collected
A new report published today finds hundreds of millions of pounds of child maintenance arrears owed to children are failing to be collected by the government – with new debts piling up in the new system worth an average of £668 per family. Full story: Gingerbread.

Court of Protection: final Case Management Pilot Practice Direction
The attached pilot Practice Direction is published in advance of a case management pilot commencing in the Court of Protection. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

MoJ seeks views on domestic violence legal aid
The Ministry of Justice has begun a review of legal aid in domestic violence cases as part of efforts to gather data, giving solicitors just over two weeks to share their views. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Munby: changes needed to encourage more children to give evidence in family court proceedings
The chief of the family court has said there has been a sea-change in attitudes to children giving evidence in court, but more changes are necessary. Full story: Community Care.

KB & RJ v RT [2016] EWHC 760 (Fam) (07 April 2016)
Surrogacy. Application for a parental order where the child was outside the jurisdiction. Full report: Bailii.

X, Y & Z, Re (Damages : Inordinate Delay in Issuing Proceedings) [2016] EWFC B44 (23 February 2016)
Application by mother for declarations and damages pursuant to the Human Rights Act following the two children being subject to a (purported) s.20 agreement to be accommodated by local authority when an interim care order was granted. Full report: Bailii.

R v R [2016] EWHC 1339 (Fam) (29 April 2016)
Application by father for summary return of children to Canada. Return ordered. Full report: Bailii.

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