News Essentials: 17th April 2021

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


Court of Appeal allows appeal over decision by Family Court judge not to separate mother and baby
The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by a local authority over a judge’s decision not to separate a mother and a baby. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

‘How many more decades?’: Munby lambasts lawyers not complying with PDs
Former Family Division president Sir James Munby has used a foray back onto the bench to launch a stinging criticism of the costs accrued and directions ignored in lengthy family court disputes. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Judge considers whether local authority obliged to assess members of ‘original family’ of mother who herself was adopted
A Family Court judge has issued a ruling on whether, within public law proceedings, there was any obligation on a local authority to assess members of the biological/birth family of the mother of the subject infant child, where the mother herself was adopted as a child and raised by adoptive parents. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Rare appeal allowed over refusal by judge to adjourn final care hearing
A mother's appeal of a decision by a family judge not to adjourn an imminent final hearing in care proceedings has been allowed in a "rare" case before the Court of Appeal. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

New Victims’ Code provides for victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse
A new Victims' Code, including specific provisions for victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse, came into force on 1 April. Full story: Family Law Week.

£4m for councils to support more families to resolve parental conflict
From today (6th April), councils can apply to the DWP for funding to train frontline staff who regularly come into contact with families facing conflict, so they can intervene at the right time to reduce friction between parents and help shield their children. Full story: Department for Work and Pensions.

Vulnerable as well as a potential source of risk: fathers in the family justice system
A research project has built a picture of fathers involved in multiple care proceedings as a group with histories of childhood adversity facing hardship in adulthood and striving to make changes in their lives. Full story: Community Care.


YY (Children: Conduct of the Local Authority) [2021] EWHC 749 (Fam) (26 March 2021)
Fact-finding judgment in proceedings relating to children in care since 2014, including serious criticisms of conduct of LA, over a period in excess of eight years. Full report: Bailii.

J, G And H (Children: Supervision Orders) [2021] EWHC 884 (Fam) (29 March 2021)
Care and placement proceedings in relation to 3 children. Following indication that welfare of children would be best served by remaining with their mother, LA provided new Care Plans based on the children remaining with the mother under 12 month Supervision Orders. Full report: Bailii.

AA v AB (Costs) [2021] EWFC B64 (19 March 2021)
Final hearing of financial remedies application between parties of modest means, including issue of costs. Full report: Bailii. See also my note, here.

AA & BB [2021] EWHC 890 (Fam) (25 March 2021)
Preliminary hearing in divorce/children proceedings in which both parties are Russian citizens dealing, inter alia, with disputed issue regarding the children's habitual residence. Full report: Bailii.

C (A Child) [2021] EWFC 32 (13 April 2021)
Application brought by a mother against the father under Sch.1 Children Act 1989 in relation to their daughter, where M is citizen of Finland, F resident in Monaco and child born in France. Preliminary hearing as to jurisdiction. Full report: Bailii.

J (A child : care order and a placement order) [2021] EWFC B15 (25 February 2021)
Final hearing of care and placement proceedings in relation to a baby, whose parents failed to engage with the proceedings in any meaningful way. Full report: Bailii.

P (A Child) (Interim Separation) [2021] EWCA Civ 499 (06 April 2021)
Appeal by LA from refusal of application for permission to remove child under interim care order from his mother, and place him in foster care. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

F, Re (Assessment of Birth Family) [2021] EWFC 31 (12 April 2021)
Application by LA within public law proceedings seeking determination of issue as to whether there is any obligation on LA to assess members of the 'original family' (i.e., the biological/birth family) of the mother of the subject infant child, where the mother herself was adopted as a child and raised by adoptive parents. Full report: Bailii.