News Essentials: 30th May 2020


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

NEWS

Judge criticises local authority and Children's Guardian over efforts to identify birth father but declines to revoke adoption order
A Family Division judge has rejected a birth father’s application under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to revoke an adoption order made in November 2019, despite levelling criticisms at the local authority and Children's Guardian over a lack of rigour and urgency to identify him. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Survivors of domestic abuse told to give evidence in person at Commons
Charities alarmed at infection risk as Jacob Rees-Mogg ends committees’ video links. Full story: The Guardian.

Councils told to stop burdening High Court with child vaccination disputes
Local authorities have been told to stop running to the High Court every time a child vaccination dispute arises as the court's time could be better spent dealing with urgent family matters. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

General guidance on PDF bundles
General guidance has been issued on PDF bundles. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in April 27 per cent lower than 2019
Cafcass received a total of 2,621 new private law cases (involving 3,634 children) in April 2020 – 27 per cent (or 988 cases) lower than the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass fell almost 9 per cent in April
Cafcass received a total of 1,374 new public law applications (involving 2,224 children) in April – 132 applications (8.8 per cent) fewer than in the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

Standard orders announcement by Mr Justice Mostyn
With the agreement of the President of the Family Division, I issue revised versions of Orders Nos 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, and 2.2. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Chancery Lane calls for ‘best practice’ document on remote hearings in family courts, warns of “guidance fatigue”
The Law Society has urged the President of the Family Division to issue ‘best practice’ and ‘top tips’ rather than full prescriptive guidance on remote hearings. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Coronavirus: Domestic abuse website visits up by ten-fold, charity says
The charity which runs the national domestic abuse helpline has had a ten-fold increase in visits to its website in the past two weeks. Full story: BBC News.

Covid-19 remote hearings “must not become settled norm”
Remote hearings have been a successful emergency measure but should not be taken as establishing a settled mode of operation for the family courts after Covid-19, a leading judge has warned. Full story: Legal Futures.

CASES

A Local Authority v AG (No. 2) [2020] EWHC 1346 (Fam) (28 May 2020)
Care proceedings in relation to children whose father is a serving diplomat at a diplomatic mission. Judgment concerning whether application by local authority for a declaration that the Diplomatic Privileges Act 1964 is incompatible with Art 3 ECHR should proceed. Full report: Bailii.

X v Y [2020] EWHC 1116 (Fam) (22 April 2020)
Application to rectify divorce granted in 1997, on the basis that it referred to a marriage ceremony that took place in 1994, rather than the true legal marriage, which was celebrated in 1993. Full report: Bailii.

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