News Essentials: 16th October 2021

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


Huge rise in domestic abuse cases being dropped in England and Wales
Victims of alleged domestic abuse are seeing their cases dropped at a rapidly increasing rate, according to data obtained by the BBC. Full story: BBC News.

Children’s Commissioner’s proposals to help children by helping families
The Children's Commissioner for England has proposed new policies as a starting point for making support available when families need it, and ensuring that the support is good enough. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass fell by 14.5 per cent in September
Cafcass received 1,290 new public law cases in August 2021 featuring 1,977 children; this represents a decrease of 14.5 per cent. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in September fell by 13 per cent
Cafcass received a total of 3,623 new private law cases in September 2021 which is 543 cases (13.0 per cent) fewer than the same month in 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.

McFarlane reveals mediation voucher scheme success
More than three-quarters of family cases eligible for mediation vouchers introduced earlier this year were successfully resolved away from court, the president of the Family Division has revealed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Unbundled family law service to expand as SRA eyes pilot
A pilot version of an unbundled family law service for litigants in person has enabled them to save 70% on legal fees and is to be expanded. Full story: Legal Futures.

Court dismisses 28 separate divorce petitions with identical wording
A family court judge has dismissed 28 divorce petitions from the same company after a finding that particulars of behaviour were ‘absolutely identical’ to each other. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

President of the Family Division’s memorandum: Experts in the Family Court
This memorandum seeks to explain the principles applied by the Family Court when it considers whether to authorise or admit expert evidence. Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

Speech by the President of the Family Division: Supporting Families in Conflict – There is a better way
An Address by Sir Andrew McFarlane to the Jersey International Family Law Conference 2021. Full speech: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary.

LCJ reveals new platform for remote hearings
Virtual consultation rooms and a network to monitor connectivity issues in remote hearings are part of a new platform that will help the courts to reduce the backlog of outstanding cases, the lord chief justice has claimed. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

PPI publishes research on the impact of divorce on pensions wealth
The Pensions Policy Institute (PPI) has published new findings in a paper entitled ‘Pensions and Divorce: Exploratory Analysis of Quantitative Data’. Full story: Family Law.


L (Return Order), Re [2021] EWHC 2737 (Fam) (13 October 2021)
Application by father for summary return of 15 year old child country is not a signatory to the Hague Convention. Application dismissed, particularly in light of child's objections. Full report: Bailii.

A Mother v A Local Authority & Ors [2021] EWHC 2731 (Fam) (18 August 2021)
Application by mother for revocation of a placement order in respect of her three children. Application dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Malone, Re (Contempt of Court) [2021] EWHC 2723 (Fam) (11 October 2021)
Contempt proceedings regarding breach of child arrangements order by father. Full report: Bailii.

Celine-Shelby & Yorston, The marriage of [2021] EWFC 80 (10 September 2021)
Judgment dismissing 28 divorce petitions, which had identical particulars of the respondents' behaviour. Full report: Bailii. See also my post, here.

A Borough Council v E & Ors (No. 2) (Refusal of Secure Accommodation Order) [2021] EWHC 2699 (Fam) (11 October 2021)
Application by local authority for a further secure accommodation order in relation to a 16 year old. Application refused. Full report: Bailii.