News Essentials: 15th May 2021

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


Judges dismiss social services application over rights of foreign diplomats’ children
Judges who were asked to consider how social workers and police can protect children at risk of harm if the parents are foreign diplomats have decided not to declare that legal provisions over diplomatic privileges are incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. Full story: Care Appointments.

Cafcass granted extra £8m for 2021-22 to tackle record caseloads
Family courts body to allocate extra Ministry of Justice funding on recruiting social workers to meet demand and alleviate pressures with number of open cases at record high. Full story: Community Care.

One in four ready to quit family law - survey
A quarter of family specialists are actively considering leaving the profession, according to a survey that suggests a generational ‘brain drain’ is looming. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Six-year-old girl at centre of High Court life support treatment case has died
A disabled six-year-old girl at the centre of a High Court life support treatment fight has died, a lawyer said. Full story: Care Appointments.

Tech playing growing role in UK domestic abuse cases, experts say
Complex cases involve perpetrators using multiple accounts and devices to abuse, control and monitor partners. Full story: The Guardian.

Practice Direction update 4 (2021): Family Procedure Rules 2010
Amendments to Practice Direction 30A, 36U and 41B come into force on 3, 24 and 31 May 2021. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

Government responds to inquiry into child sexual abuse in secure children’s homes
The government has responded to the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse custodial institutions report about placement in secure children's homes. Full story: Family Law Week.

Experts and the Family Justice System: Widening the Pool
The Experts Sub-Committee held its inaugural event on 25 March 2021. Full story: Family Law Week.

New suite of Judicial Review Practice Directions issued
The Civil Procedure Rules 131st Practice Direction Update includes a suite of Practice Directions supplementing CPR Part 54 (Judicial Review) which have been revised in consequence of developments in caselaw and practice. Full story: Family Law Week.

Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) (Amendment) Rules 2021
These Rules, which come into force on 24 May 2021, amend the Family Court (Composition and Distribution of Business) Rules 2014 (the 2014 Rules). Full story: Family Law Week.


Birmingham Children's Trust v Z & Ors [2021] EWHC 1289 (Fam) (16 April 2021)
Judgment in care proceedings considering issue of jurisdiction, the parents having been living in the Republic of Ireland when the child was born. Full report: Bailii.

Potanina v Potanin [2021] EWCA Civ 702 (13 May 2021)
Appeal by W from setting aside of order granting leave to make an application under Part III MFPA. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

London Borough of Barnet v AG & Ors [2021] EWHC 1253 (Fam) (13 May 2021)
LA concerns about welfare of children of diplomat - application by LA for declaration of incompatibility between Act providing diplomatic immunity and ECHR. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Manchester City Council v D (Application for Permission Withdraw Proceedings after Abduction) [2021] EWHC 1191 (Fam) (11 May 2021)
Application by LA for permission to withdraw care proceedings, where parents abducted children from the jurisdiction of England and Wales. Full report: Bailii.

BCP v M (Failure to Comply with Direction; Family Placement) [2021] EWFC B26 (15 April 2021)
Care proceedings, in which LA failed to comply with direction to provide information. Full report: Bailii.

A (Hague Convention: Wrongful Retention) [2021] EWHC 1204 (Fam) (11 May 2021)
Application by father for summary return of child to Russia. Held, no wrongful removal or retention, and application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

AJC v PJP [2021] EWFC B25 (09 January 2021)
Application by former wife for variation of nominal spousal maintenance order. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii. See also my note, here.

J (A Child : 1980 Hague Convention proceedings) [2021] EWHC 1213 (Fam) (10 May 2021)
Application by father for summary return of child to Australia. Article 13 (b) defence established and return refused. Full report: Bailii.