News Essentials: 22nd August 2020

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


'Procedural muddle': family case came before 15 judges
A family case involving allegations of controlling and coercive behaviour came before at least 15 judges, the Court of Appeal has revealed in a judgment highlighting the importance of judicial continuity. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

More support for those representing themselves in court
People representing themselves in court will receive enhanced legal support following £3.1 million in additional funding the Ministry of Justice has announced. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

New public law cases received by Cafcass fell slightly in July
Cafcass received a total of 1,727 new public law applications (involving 2,733 children) in July – 13 applications (0.7 per cent) fewer than in the same month last year. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in July 8 per cent higher than 2019
Cafcass received a total of 4,613 new private law cases (involving 7,021 children) in July 2020 – 8.0 per cent (or 343 cases) higher than the same month the previous year. Full story: Family Law Week.

‘Marriage gap’ is a social justice issue, says CSJ report
The Centre for Social Justice has published a report looking at the importance of family structure. Full story: Family Law Week.

Domestic abuse surged in lockdown, Panorama investigation finds
One call relating to domestic abuse was made to police every 30 seconds in first seven weeks. Full story: The Guardian.

Challenge to Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 fails
In R (Article 39) v Secretary of State for Education [2020] EWHC 2184 (Admin) the High Court has found that the Department for Education did not act unlawfully when laying the Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 before parliament. Full story: Family Law Week.

Can a child be screened and assessed for Coronavirus without reference to a parent?
Children’s Commissioner receives clarification from DfE and DHSC. Full story: Family Law Week.


N (Children) (Interim Care), Re [2020] EWCA Civ 1003 (31 July 2020)
Three appeals against orders made in care proceedings involving 3 children, two brought by the children's mother and by their maternal grandparents against interim care orders, and one by the children's guardian, against a case management decision refusing permission for a psychological assessment of the family. Appeals allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Akhmedova v Akhmedov & Ors [2020] EWHC 2257 (Fam) (18 August 2020)
Application by Wife to vary the freezing orders granted against Husband. Full report: Bailii.

R v P (Children: Similar Fact Evidence) [2020] EWCA Civ 1088 (18 August 2020)
Appeal by mother from case management decision to exclude similar fact evidence in proceedings concerning father's application for contact. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii. For my brief summary, see here.

LB v DB [2020] EWFC B34 (OJ) (18 June 2020)
Application by former wife to set aside financial remedies order, in the light of change in circumstances since the order was made. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

OG v AG [2020] EWFC 52 (29 July 2020)
Final judgment on cross-applications for financial remedies, in which the primary asset was a family business. Full report: Bailii.

Akhmedova v Akhmedov & Ors [2020] EWHC 2235 (Fam) (14 August 2020)
Further hearing in long-running proceedings concerning wife's efforts to recover monies which this court ordered he should pay her in December 2016, dealing with various applications by the wife and respondents. Full report: Bailii.