News Essentials: 27th February 2017

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

Courts to ban cross-examination of victims by abusers
Domestic abusers will no longer be able to cross-examine their former partners in family courts in England and Wales, the justice secretary is to announce. Full story: BBC News. See also this MoJ press release.

MOJ publishes research on the cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in private family law
The Ministry of Justice has today (23 February 2017) published a report on the cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses in private family law. Full story: Family Law.

The Court of Protection (Amendment) Rules 2017
These Rules amend the Court of Protection Rules 2007 in two respects. Statutory Instrument.

Council criticised over death of child on special guardianship order
A children's services department has been criticised for a raft of failures in their handling of the case of an 18-month-old girl, who was murdered after being placed with a family member through a special guardianship order. Full story: Children & Young People Now.

Heterosexual couple lose civil partnership challenge
A heterosexual couple have lost their Court of Appeal battle for the right to enter into a civil partnership instead of a marriage. Full story: BBC News. See Steinfeld and Keidan v Secretary of State for Education, below.

Family judge condemns 2,000-page bundle
A family judge has expressed his disapproval at the ‘unwarranted expenditure’ in a case where a local authority breached Article 8 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights by taking an infant into care. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See CZ (Human Rights Claim: Costs).

G v S [2017] EWHC 365 (Fam) (24 February 2017)
Final hearing of Schedule 1 Children Act application made by mother of two year old child. Full report: Bailii.

R (A Child : Care Order) [2017] EWHC 364 (Fam) (24 February 2017)
Re-hearing of application for care order and placement orders in respect of two year old child, including issues relating to drug testing on the mother. Full report: Bailii.

K v K [2016] EWHC 3380 (Fam) (24 November 2016)
Nullity petition, in which the respondent claimed that there was nothing capable of recognition as a marriage, and that the petition should therefore be dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

H (A Minor) v Northamptonshire County Council & Anor [2017] EWHC 282 (Fam) (17 February 2017)
Care proceedings and HRA claim on behalf of child. Application by local authority seeking an order for costs against the Lord Chancellor. Full report: Bailii.

J (A Child) (Finland)(Habitual Residence) [2017] EWCA Civ 80 (21 February 2017)
Appeal by father against decision that the English court did not have jurisdiction in relation to proceedings concerning five year old child. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Steinfeld and Keidan v Secretary of State for Education [2017] EWCA Civ 81 (21 February 2017)
Appeal against dismissal of claim for judicial review of decision that the bar against heterosexual couples entering into a civil partnership did not violate the rights of the appellants under Article 14 taken with Article 8. Full report: Bailii.

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