Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers January/February 2018


The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.

In this issue:
  • 2017 review – Nick Holmes and several contributors consider what we learned in 2017 about trolling and fake news, Big Tech regulation, AI in law, social media, algorithms, machine learning and the courts
  • Data protection – Eduardo Ustaran of Hogan Lovells provides some pointers on how Brexit will affect data protection
  • Transcription – Delia Venables and guests on transcription, voice recognition, document generation and AI
  • Web links – Nick Holmes looks at the law relating to web links, likely problem areas and linking good practice
  • Irish software – Delia Venables reviews the key legal software and technology suppliers in Ireland
  • Cybercrime – Alex Heshmaty explains what cybercrime is, its consequences and how it can be prevented

Access the Newsletter online

Monday, January 29, 2018

News Essentials: 29th January 2018


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

NEWS
CoA clarifies when proposed adopters’ merits may be considered on making placement order
Exception made to Re T (A Child) (Early Permanence Placement). Full story: Family Law Week.

Ineffectual written agreements in domestic abuse cases amount to victim blaming
Eleanor Schooling has called for a discussion about the use of written agreements after inspectors found they weren't effective in many domestic abuse cases. Full story: Community Care.

Judge backs ‘short-term’ fix to backlog of deprivation of liberty cases
Court of Protection can use general visitors to protect human rights of service users in deprivation of liberty cases lacking Rule 3A representatives. Full story: Community Care.

Latest View from the President’s Chambers
The on-going process of reform – Financial Remedies Courts. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Domestic abusers told to say sorry to partner by police
Police are dealing with domestic abuse cases by simply making the abuser say sorry to their partner on the doorstep, a Fawcett Society report has found. Full story: The Telegraph.

Practice Guidance: Standard Financial and Enforcement Orders – Update
Addendum issued by the President of the Family Division. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

CASES
Z (A Child) (FGMPO : Prevalence of FGM) [2017] EWHC 3566 (Fam) (06 November 2017)
Applications by mother for orders forbidding father from taking child abroad, and specifically to Guinea to protect her from genital mutilation. Full report: Bailii.

DMM, Re (Alzheimer's : power of attorney) [2017] EWCOP 32 (26 July 2017)
Proceedings concerning issue of whether a man suffering from Alzheimer's disease had the capacity to revoke a power of attorney and to marry. Full report: Bailii.

DMM, Re (Alzheimer's : marriage : power of attorney ) [2017] EWCOP 33 (2 October 2017)
Further judgment in proceedings concerning issue of whether a man suffering from Alzheimer's disease had the capacity to revoke a power of attorney and to marry. Full report: Bailii.

E (A Child) [2017] EWFC 101 (6 March 2017)
Application for a care order in respect of a child born in August 2016, identifying a number of shortcomings in the child protection arrangements in North Wales. Full report: Bailii,

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

UK’s first children’s charity calls for eight priorities for change to secure children’s rights and welfare for the next generation


New Respected and Protected report launched at Speaker’s House at the House of Commons

On Monday 22 January, Coram launched the report Respected and Protected: Securing a Better Future for All Children at a parliamentary event, opened by The Speaker of the House of Commons, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP, and closed by The Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP and chair of the Joint Select Committee on Human Rights.

Coram published the report to mark the 350th birthday of its founder Thomas Coram, whose groundbreaking drive, vision and commitment started a shift in the way England protected and regarded children.

The report outlines eight priorities for action, which draw on Coram’s expertise across law, social work, health, education and policy, to help ministers, civil servants, local authorities, opinion formers and policy makers take a shared view on what is needed. These are matched by a clear commitment from Coram on what the charity will contribute in each area.

The priorities include strengthening the legal framework for children, ensuring the voices of children are always heard on decisions that matter to them, providing secure loving families for all children who need them, and tackling educational exclusion.

Dr Carol Homden CBE, Chief Executive of Coram said: “Our call for change highlights some of the challenges facing children today and the improvements we want to see to ensure that children have the best possible chance in life.

“As the first children’s charity and the birthplace of children’s social care, we are committed to developing new ways to help children thrive, and that ensuring that services and society enable them to face new challenges. We will not rest until every child is respected and protected with the safety, love, education and equality of opportunity to which they are entitled.”

The Rt Hon John Bercow MP said: “For me, the event has a special relevance. Arthur Onslow, the longest serving Speaker of the House, was a founding governor of the charity and was regarded as a powerful visionary, in the same way as Thomas Coram.

“There are still far too many children and young people who need access to support. It is a great pleasure to echo Arthur Onslow’s support and launch Coram’s call for change so that all children can be respected and protected.”

The Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP said: “Thomas Coram believed that every single child has a worth and value that should be respected. It’s a different era but the same important principles remain.

“I’m very proud to support Coram’s pledge - now is the moment for parliament to work cross-party so that every child is safe, supported and can get their rights.”

During the event, Coram launched an online campaign for people to pledge their support for every child to be respected and protected. To find out more please visit pledge.coram.org.uk.

Monday, January 22, 2018

News Essentials: 22nd January 2018


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

NEWS

Privy Council considers law applicable to beneficial ownership of joint bank accounts
Money in a bank account subject to same principles as other property. Full story: Family Law Week. See Whitlock v Moree, below.

Adoption has become 'runaway train' social workers cannot stop
British Association of Social Workers’ two-year inquiry calls for ‘significant rethink’ of adoption laws. Full story: The Guardian.

Munby warns against 'adversarial and punitive' care proceedings
The president of the family division has advised local authorities to think long and hard before embarking on care proceedings against 'otherwise unimpeachable' parents. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See AB (A Child), below.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in December 2017 2% down on a year ago
In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 2,790 new private law cases. This is a 2% decrease compared with those received in December 2016. Full story: Family Law Week.

Care applications received by Cafcass in December 2017 8% down on a year ago
In December 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,008 care applications. Whilst this figure represents an 8% decrease in comparison with December 2016, it is the third-highest monthly total for December on record. Full story: Family Law Week.

Missing four-year-old British girl found with mother in Spain
Family court judge says Elliana Shand and her mother, who has mental health problems, will return to England within days. Full story: The Guardian.

CASES
Whitlock v Moree [2017] UKPC 44 (21 December 2017)
Appeal from the Court of Appeal of the Bahamas about the beneficial ownership of money held on joint account at a bank. Full report: Family Law Week.

G And H (Children: Article 15 Brussel Ii Revised Regulation) [2018] EWHC 60 (Fam) (16 January 2018)
Care proceedings in respect of two Latvian children. Application by Latvian Orphan's Court seeking transfer of proceedings to Latvia. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

B (A Child) (care proceedings) [2018] EWCA Civ 20 (17 January 2018)
Appeal by father against care and placement orders. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

The Prospective Adopters (AA AND BB) v CC [2017] EWHC 3506 (Fam) (30 November 2017)
Final hearing of adoption application in relation to an 18 year old woman who has lived with the adoptive parents since 2011, when she came from outside the UK to live with them. Full report: Bailii.

AB (A Child) [2018] EWFC 3 (16 January 2018)
Judgment giving permission to local authority to withdraw care proceedings in relation to a 4 year old boy who is profoundly neurologically disabled, on the basis that the care being given to him by his parents, with the supporting care package, is meeting his needs. Full report: Bailii.

KT & Ors, Re [2018] EWCOP 1 (15 January 2018)
Four test cases seeking welfare orders to authorise deprivation of liberty. Full report: Bailii.

M (A Child) (Temporary Removal to Kurdistan) [2017] EWHC 3492 (Fam) (14 March 2017)
Application by father for orders preventing the mother from taking the child to Kurdistan. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, January 19, 2018

In which I get to use the term 'schizophrenic lawyers'...


Any week when you get to use such a term must be a good week! 😉 Certainly, it was a good week for me on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog, where my posts included:

Securing reasonable provision from a spouse’s estate, and the issue of delay - The Chancery case Sargeant v Sargeant & Anor.

Court prevents mother from taking child to Kurdistan - The High Court case M (A Child) (Temporary Removal to Kurdistan).

Why are some spouses still failing to make pension claims? - I put forward some ideas, but the message is: take some advice if you possibly can!

Transparency, privacy and schizophrenic lawyers - The sometimes confusing relationship between transparency and privacy.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, January 15, 2018

News Essentials: 15th January 2018


A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week (or so):

NEWS
Child referred to social services every 49 seconds amid rising reports of domestic violence
Councils warn they face pressures on ‘staggering scale’ as data shows there were 646,120 referrals to children’s services last year – equating to 1,770 referrals per day. Full story: The Independent.

Cost of divorce up 17% in three years amid soaring legal fees and housing costs
Separating couples now typically spend £14,561 on lawyers and lifestyle costs, plus an additional £35,000 to rent or £144,600 to buy new property. Full story: The Independent.

Court rules children of learning-disabled mother can be adopted despite criticising council
Judge highlights lack of training and protocol around parents with learning disabilities but stresses support must not become 'substituted parenting'. Full story: Community Care. See A Local Authority v G, below.

Solicitor Gauke is named as justice secretary
Solicitor David Gauke was today named as lord chancellor and secretary of state for justice in a surprise element of the government reshuffle. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Changes to domestic violence evidence requirements come into effect
From today (8 January 2018), victims of domestic violence will get more support in taking abusive former partners to court. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Changes to family forms from 8 January 2018
The Ministry of Justice has announced that Form FM1, Form A, Form A1, Form B and Form C100 will be amended with effect from 8 January 2018. Full story: Family Law.

CASES
Sargeant v Sargeant & Anor [2018] EWHC 8 (Ch) (09 January 2018)
Inheritance Act claim by wife against estate of late husband who died in 2005, made over 10 years after grant of probate. Permission to make claim out of time refused. Full report: Bailii.

B v C (temporary leave to remove to non-Hague Convention country) [2017] EWFC B97 (12 December 2017)
Cross-applications by the mother for permission to take the child on holidays, including to non-Hague Convention countries, and by the father for a child arrangements order that divides the child’s time broadly equally between his parents. Full report: Bailii.

T (A Child: Care Order: Beyond Parental Control: Deprivation of Liberty: Authority to Administer Medication) [2017] EWFC B1 (5 January 2018)
Care proceedings concerning a child aged 13 years and residing in a specialist residential unit under the auspices of an interim care order. Full report: Bailii.

A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) [2017] EWFC B94 (18 December 2017)
Proceedings concerning 3 children, where the primary issue was whether the 2 youngest children could safely be returned to their parents under either a child arrangements order with a supervision order or under a care order, or whether their welfare required that they be placed outside the family for adoption. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Not a book review: Standard Family Orders Handbook, Volume 1 - Financial and Enforcement


Standard Family Orders Handbook

Volume 1 - Financial and Enforcement

His Honour Judge Edward Hess

£60 - Published by Class Legal, in association with the FLBA: January 2018

Earlier this week I received an enquiry from a legal publisher, asking me if I would be interested in reviewing a book for them. I replied, saying that unfortunately I do not presently have the time to do justice to reviewing a book. Two days later I received a review copy of Standard Family Orders Handbook, Volume 1 - Financial and Enforcement from another legal publisher.

I am in luck, however, as the Handbook, as I shall call it, does not require a review, as it is an essential purchase for all practitioners.

As you will no doubt already have gathered, the Handbook contains the Standard Financial and Enforcement Orders referred to in the Practice Guidance issued by the President last November. It also includes a commentary on how and when to use each order written by HHJ Hess, together with useful practice points interwoven into the orders. As with the original orders, green colouring is used where the draft orders incorporate an editorial comment, and red colouring used where a selection has to be made by the person drafting the order.

The orders contained in the Handbook can be created and personalised using the associated website familyorders.co.uk. Purchasers of the Handbook can subscribe to familyorders.co.uk for £39.99 per annum, a saving of £60, making it obvious that subscribers should buy the Handbook as well!

Volume 1 covers finance and enforcement including:

  • Financial Proceedings Directions Orders
  • Financial Remedy Final Orders
  • Miscellaneous Interim Remedies Orders
  • Enforcement Orders
  • Committal Related Orders
  • Arbitration Related Orders

Volume 2, covering children and other issues, will be published this Spring, when those orders are approved. I understand that purchasers of Volume 1 will get a discount on Volume 2, when it is available.

The Handbook can be purchased from Class Legal, here.

Out of touch


Well, I may be, but I still had fun writing my posts for Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog this week, which included:

A derogatory prefix does not make it so - If you want to do down the family justice system, you're going to have to do better than that.

A plea for a simpler child maintenance system - Or maybe just return to the old system…

Is the idea of ‘Divorce Day’ offensive? - Some might be offended.

Yet another new Lord Chancellor - David who?

Have a good weekend.

Friday, January 05, 2018

Silly and spurious


It has been a short but nevertheless amusing week for me on Marilyn Stowe’s Family Law & Divorce Blog, where my posts included:

Silly season - Family law news over the Xmas period.

Reform of family law is not a party political thing - It is far more important than that.

A spurious argument for reform - I waste my time going behind the great paywall of Murdoch.

Have a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

News Essentials: 2nd January 2018


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

NEWS
Judge hits out at gay couple whose marriage ran into difficulties after having surrogate daughter
Two married men whose union ran into difficulties after they arranged to have a child by surrogate "abdicated their responsibilities" to the little girl, a High Court judge told them. Full story: The Telegraph. See Y v Z & Ors, below.

Court of Protection: New Practice Directions
The Practice Directions hitherto supplementing the Court of Protection Rules 2007 have been revoked. Full story: Family Law Week.

Judges to revisit case of transgender Jewish woman refused right to see her children
High court judge ‘gave up too easily’ in ruling that woman who left ultra-Orthodox Haredi community in Manchester should not see her five children, appeal court says. Full story: The Guardian. See Re M, below.

Children's experts urge Government to protect children throughout Brexit
Children’s experts from across the UK, including the Children Society and Barnado’s, have come together to form the ‘Brexit and Children’ coalition and have published a report which explores the specific implications of Brexit on children and young people. Full story: Family Law.

CASES
Y v Z & Ors [2017] EWFC 60 (04 August 2017)
Application for parental order following international surrogacy arrangement. Full report: Bailii.

Re W (A Child) [2017] EWCA 2152 (Civ) (12 December 2017)
Appeal by mother against order for return of child to the USA. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

L v F [2017] EWCA Civ 2121 (20 December 2017)
Appeal by father against decision allowing an appeal by mother against refusal of her application to relocate with child to Italy. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

F v L [2017] EWHC 1377 (Fam) (09 June 2017)
Appeal from a decision refusing an application by mother to relocate to Italy with her son aged five, and a child arrangements order. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

L-S (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 2177 (20 December 2017)
Appeal by mother against order requiring the return of the child to the United States. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Lewis v Warner [2017] EWCA Civ 2182 (19 December 2017)
Appeal by the daughter against an order that the property of her deceased mother's estate be transferred to the surviving unmarried partner for full value (or possibly more than full value), such transfer being regarded as “reasonable financial provision” for the partner’s “maintenance” within the meaning of those terms in subsections 1(1) and 1(2)(b) and sections 2 and 3 of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependents) Act 1975. The appeal was dismissed. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Hub.

L (Children), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 2173 (20 December 2017)
Application by mother for permission to appeal order refusing her permission to oppose adoption applications in respect of the children. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

M (Children), Re [2017] EWCA Civ 2164 (20 December 2017)
Appeal by transgender father of children belonging to Charedi Jewish community against order dismissing his application for direct contact with the children. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

F v H & Anor [2017] EWHC 3358 (Fam) (19 December 2017)
Appeal by father against contact order in favour of mother after a break of almost 2 years, following the child's abduction to Israel by the mother. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Whittingham v Whittingham [2017] EWHC 3318 (Fam) (06 November 2017)
Application by husband for permission to appeal against an interim order refusing to discharge a receiver appointed in enforcement proceedings. Permission refused. Full report: Bailii.

*      *      *
For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.