News Essentials: 17th February 2020

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

Family Procedure (Amendment) Rules 2020
These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010. Amendments include:
  • Rule 7 inserts a new rule 5.7 into the FPR setting out requirements in relation to correspondence which is sent to the court by a party to proceedings.
  • Rule 12 substitutes rule 9.27 of the FPR with new provision in relation to the filing and service of estimates of costs and of particulars of costs at specified stages of proceedings for a financial remedy.
  • Rule 13 inserts a new rule 9.27A into the FPR, which makes provision for the making of open proposals for settlement in proceedings for a financial remedy.
Statutory Instrument

Islamic faith marriages not valid in English law, appeal court rules
Judgment leaves many Muslim women without redress at end of relationship, lawyers say. Full story: The Guardian. See report, below.

Family justice system 'under sustained and heavy attack' - Munby
The outspoken former president of the family division has called for urgent action to stop the private family law system from falling to its knees or worse as a result of damaging criticism. Full story: Law Society Gazette. You can find his speech here.

Her Majesty's Attorney General v Akhter & Anor [2020] EWCA Civ 122 (14 February 2020)
The Attorney General appeals from the decision of Williams J to pronounce a decree nisi of nullity. The ceremony which he determined entitled the Petitioner to a decree took place at a restaurant in London on 13th December 1998 ("the December 1998 ceremony"). It was an Islamic marriage ceremony, a Nikah, which the parties knew was of no legal effect and which they intended would be followed by a civil marriage ceremony compliant with English law. Judge's order must be set aside as there was, in this case, no ceremony in respect of which a decree of nullity could be granted. Full report: Bailii.