News Essentials: 25th July 2020

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


New private law cases received by Cafcass in June 6 per cent higher than 2019
Cafcass received a total of 3,848 new private law cases (involving 5,838 children) in June 2020 – 6.4 per cent (or 230 cases) higher than the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass rose 8 per cent in June
Cafcass received a total of 1,579 new public law applications (involving 2,539 children) in June – 127 applications (8.7 per cent) more than in the same month last year. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family courts carry out ‘state sanctioned abuse’ of domestic abuse survivors by letting perpetrators see children, commissioner warns
Abusers emboldened to ‘continue cycles of abuse, including control, unwanted contact and harassment,’ says London’s first commissioner for victims. Full story: The Independent.

Domestic abuse helpline sees lockdown surge
More than 40,000 calls and contacts were made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the first three months of lockdown, most by women seeking help, new figures show. Full story: BBC News.

Child Support Agency quarterly summary of statistics: March 2020
Quarterly statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) child support schemes to March 2020. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Judge rails at lawyers’ ‘thoroughly disorganised’ case presentation
A High Court judge has urged parties not to expect to be given sympathy in future if they continue to flout procedural rules and file evidence late. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

The Family Procedure (Amendment No. 2) Rules 2020
These Rules amend the Family Procedure Rules 2010 (SI 2010/2955) by substituting for Part 37 of those Rules (applications and proceedings in relation to contempt of court) a new Part 37 that streamlines and simplifies the process for proceedings for contempt of court. Statutory Instrument.

10 ‘Nightingale Courts’ unveiled
The Lord Chancellor has today (19 July 2020) announced locations for 10 ‘Nightingale Courts’ which have been rapidly set up to tackle the impact of coronavirus on the justice system. Full story: GOV.UK.

New tools needed to help prevent sudden unexpected death of infants
Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel publishes review. Full story: Family Law Week.

Article 39’s application for reinstatement of ‘legal protections for children’ to be heard on 27 July
Article 39, the children's rights charity, will ask the High Court to reinstate legal protections for children in care when its case is heard on 27 and 28 July. Article 39's request for the final hearing to be expedited was successful, recognising the vulnerability of children in care and the scale of the changes forced through overnight. Full story: Family Law Week.

The Law Society publishes its submission to pre-legislative scrutiny of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill
The Law Society has published the written evidence it submitted to the Joint Committee on Human Rights' (JCHR) pre-legislative scrutiny of the Divorce, Dissolution and Separation Bill, which received Royal Assent on 25 June 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.

Changes to the Family Proceedings Fees Order 2008
Order comes into force on 3 August 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.


C (A Child) [2020] EWCA Civ 987 (24 July 2020)
Appeal from an order made by Mrs Justice Judd, whereby she refused to accede to an application that she recuse herself from continuing to hear care proceedings in respect of a boy now aged 16 months. Full report: Bailii. See here for my summary of the case.

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust v MX & Ors [2020] EWHC 1958 (Fam) (21 July 2020)
Application by NHS Trust for declarations relating to withdrawal of treatment from 9 year old child suffering from several serious conditions. Full report: Bailii.

H v N (Inherent Jurisdiction Refusal of Return Order) [2020] EWHC 1863 (Fam) (16 July 2020)
Application by father under inherent jurisdiction for summary return of 4 children to Pakistan. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Z (Recognition of Foreign Adoption: Refusal) [2020[ EWHC 1829 (Fam) (20 May 2020)
Application for recognition of an adoption order made in Iran. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.

Father v Mother [2020] EWHC 1964 (Fam) (22 May 2020)
Application by father for summary return to Australia of two children. Held that children were habitually resident here at date of retention. Full report: Bailii.

Z v D (Art 13 Refusal of Return Order) [2020] EWHC 1857 (Fam) (14 July 2020)
Application by mother for summary return of child to Brazil. Art 13 defence made out, so application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.