News Essentials: 23rd May 2020

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


High Court judge adjourns care proceedings so in-person hearing can be held
A High Court judge has adjourned care proceedings after concluding that evidence from the parties should be given at an in-person hearing. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

New measures announced ahead of Hidden Harms Summit
Prime Minister to open virtual Hidden Harms Summit in Downing Street to drive action to tackle domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation and modern slavery. Full story: GOV.UK.

Judge hits out at council social workers over handling of case involving disabled boy
A London council which hit the headlines after two children died has come under fire from a High Court judge over the way social workers handled a case involving a disabled boy. Full story: Care Appointments.

County lines boy 'better in Sierra Leone than UK'
A 14-year-old boy is better off living in Sierra Leone than in the UK, a High Court judge has ruled. Full story: BBC News. Report: Bailii.

Inadequate special guardianship assessment condemned girl to ‘Dickensian’ cruelty, review finds
Serious case reviews find child protection failings by Gloucestershire council led to neglect and sexual abuse being missed by social workers. Full story: Community Care.

Outcomes for children looked after by local authorities
The Department for Education has published a range of outcome measures at national and local authority level for children looked after continuously for at least 12 months. Full story: Family Law Week.

Hague Convention Permanent Bureau develops COVID-19 Toolkit
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to follow the recent video message of the Secretary General, the Permanent Bureau of the Hague Conference on Private International Law (PB) has developed a Toolkit. Full story: Family Law Week.

Draft guidance on transparency should be published this summer, says President
Sir Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division, has expressed gratitude to those who have contributed to the Transparency Review call for evidence, which closed on Monday, 11 May. Full story: Family Law Week.

Funding for safe accommodation of domestic abuse victims during coronavirus lockdown
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a further £1.5million emergency response fund to provide victims of domestic abuse with safe accommodation and support if they need to flee their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Full story: Family Law Week.

London Mayor joins forces with survivors and campaigners in campaign against FGM
£1.3m invested in services for women affected by FGM in London. Full story: Family Law Week.

CPS clarifies approach to stalking offences under coronavirus lockdown
The Crown Prosecution Service has sought to clarify how it investigates and prosecutes stalking cases during the current lockdown. Full story: Family Law Week.


HX v A Local Authority & Ors (Application to Revoke Adoption Order) [2020] EWHC 1287 (Fam) (22 May 2020)
Application by birth father under the inherent jurisdiction to revoke an adoption order made following care proceedings, on the basis that the father, who lives in Uganda, was not aware of the proceedings.Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

X, Re [2020] EWFC 39 (20 May 2020)
Application for parental order concerning child born following a surrogacy arrangement, where the applicant's husband had died before the child was born. Full report: Bailii.

H (A Child Parental Responsibility : Vaccination) [2020] EWCA Civ 664 (22 May 2020)
Appeal by parents against order authorising local authority to vaccinate child in care. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii

Moutreuil v Andreewitch (Contempt: No.2) [2020] EWHC 1301 (Fam) (22 May 2020)
Re-hearing of application alleging contempt for breach of freezing order. Full report: Bailii.

PA Media Group v London Borough of Haringey & Ors [2020] EWHC 1282 (Fam) (20 May 2020)
Application by the press relating to naming of local authority that had been severely criticised, in the course of care proceedings. Full report: Bailii.

FX and MJX v CAFCASS Legal [2020] EWHC 1227 (Fam) (18 May 2020)
Application for orders under the inherent jurisdiction for recognition of adoption orders made in the Philippines in 2006, with respect to two children. Full report: Bailii.

D (A Child) (Appeal Out of Time), Re [2020] EWHC 1167 (Fam) (14 May 2020)
Appeal by father against finding, made in May 2018, that he had sexually abused his daughter. Appeal allowed despite delay, as finding so unsafe and consequences so serious that it could not be allowed to stand. Full report: Bailii.

AS v CPW [2020] EWHC 1238 (Fam) (18 May 2020)
Father's application for summary return order in respect of a boy, who was taken by the mother to Sierra Leone. Mother cross-applied for order permitting her retrospectively to relocate the boy. The boy's emphatic wish was to remain in Sierra Leone until his education to GCSE level was complete. Mostyn J stated that the wishes of a Gillick-competent child on a particular issue, where they are not objectively foolish or unreasonable, should normally be given effect, and he was not satisfied that the child's wishes in this case were objectively foolish or unreasonable. The father's application for summary return was dismissed and the mother's application was granted. Full report: Bailii, via Family Law Hub.