News Essentials: 9th January 2017

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

Cafcass request regarding Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme referrals
A letter from Cafcass has been circulated today (5 January 2017) with a view to clarifying best practice arrangements where referral to a Domestic Violence Perpetrator Programme is intended. Full story: Family Law.

Judge lambasts council and police for flaws in investigation and care case
A High Court judge has strongly criticised a council and a police force for serious breaches of the Human Rights Act, after two children were retained in care despite their mother not being charged with an offence following her arrest. Full story: Local Government Lawyer. See GD & BD, below.

Truss orders review to ban abusers tormenting victims in family courts
Justice secretary intervenes after Guardian investigation revealed women often cross-examined by violent ex-partners in private hearings. Full story: The Guardian.

Full digital divorce process ‘won’t happen any time soon’
Online divorce petition expected to be completed by end of summer 2017. Full story: Solicitors Journal.

Statement from the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby: Cross-examination of vulnerable people
I am currently considering the review of Practice Direction 12J undertaken by Mr Justice Cobb, who met with Women’s Aid during the course of his review. I expect to make decisions on the review early in the New Year. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Certain family court hearings to take place in public in radical trial
James Munby, head of high court’s family division, to continue far-reaching reforms to bring more transparency to the system. Full story: The Guardian.

Pakistan joins 1980 Hague Child Abduction Convention
In force from 1 March 2017. Full story: Family Law Hub.

Justice Committee considers family law implications of Brexit
Key figures in the legal sector have today been giving evidence at the Justice Committee's inquiry on the implications of Brexit on the justice system. Full story: Family Law Week.

PC Paul Briggs: Coma treatment 'should stop'
Doctors should stop providing life-support treatment to a police officer who has been in a coma since July 2015, a judge has ruled. Full story: BBC News. See Briggs v Briggs, below.

Millionaire seeks greater share in divorce because he is a 'genius', prompting court to examine the meaning of the word
Randy Work, an American financier, is seeking to overturn as order at the High Court last year awarding his estranged wife, Mandy Gray, half of a fortune, totalling more than £140 million. Full story: The Telegraph.

Privy Council clarifies treatment of non-matrimonial property in AR applications
Appeal dismissed in Scatliffe v Scatliffe. Full story: Family Law Week.

Briggs v Briggs & Ors [2016] EWCOP 53 (20 December 2016)
Judgment considering whether life-preserving treatment should be withdrawn from patient in a minimally conscious state. Full report: Bailii.

GD & BD (Children) [2016] EWHC 3312 (Fam) (20 December 2016)
Two linked applications brought under the Human Rights Act seeking awards of damages and declarations arising from the conduct of two public authorities in the context of public law proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

AB v FC [2016] EWHC 3285 (Fam) (19 December 2016)
Application by wife for financial remedy orders after a short marriage which lasted 19 months to the date of the parties' separation. Full report: Bailii.

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