News Essentials: 28th October 2023

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


Just under half of children returned to live with their families as result of entering Family Drug and Alcohol Court, annual report reveals
The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has published his second annual report on the Family Drug and Alcohol Courts (FDACs), of which he states he has “long been a supporter”. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

High Court judge backs council decision on vaccination of child, rejects objections of mother
The High Court has ruled that a mother cannot prevent the local authority caring for her child having him vaccinated. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Government’s ambition of encouraging mediation fundamentally undermined by decision to cut funding for early legal advice
Backlogs and delays in the family courts, which are affecting tens of thousands of children, will continue until legal funding is restored for early legal advice, the Law Society warned today. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

The Courts (Prescribed Recordings) Order 2023
This Order prescribes the conditions to be satisfied for section 41 of the Criminal Justice Act 1925 (which makes it an offence to film in court) and section 9 of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (which provides that it is a contempt of court to record sound in court except with the permission of the court) not to apply to recordings undertaken by CCTV or bodyworn cameras, or to certain photographs taken to mark the making of an adoption order. Statutory Instrument.

Indi Gregory: Legal challenge from critically ill baby's parents dismissed
The parents of a critically ill baby have had a legal challenge against a ruling to end life-support treatment dismissed. Full story: BBC News.

Woman raped by ex-partner left traumatised by English family courts
Complainant forced to give evidence for second time as case reheard. Full story: The Guardian.


Z (A Child) (1980 Hague Convention), Re [2023] EWHC 2696 (Fam) (26 October 2023)
Application by mother for summary return of child to the Czech Republic. Return ordered, notwithstanding child's objections. Full report: National Archives.

Lancashire County Council v Claire X [2023] EWHC 2667 (Fam) (26 October 2023)
Hearing concerning deprivation of liberty of 15 year old girl with history of extreme self-harm. Full report: National Archives.

Surrey County Council v LV & Ors [2023] EWFC 186 (14 September 2023)
Fact-finding hearing in care proceedings, concerning cause of injuries to child. Full report: Bailii.

His Majesty's Solicitor General v Wong (Re Contempt of Court Act 1981 - Administration of Justice Act 1960 - Part 37 Family Procedure Rules 2010) [2023] EWHC 2684 (Fam) (27 October 2023)
Contempt application concerning defendant's covert recording of adoption hearing. Full report: Bailii.

EY (Fact-Finding Hearing) [2023] EWCA Civ 1241 (27 October 2023)
Appeal by local authority against dismissal of care application. Appeal allowed on grounds, inter alia, that judge had failed to give sufficient weight to clinical psychologist's report. Full report: Bailii.

VASSALLO v. HUNGARY - 32662/20 (Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life : First Section Committee) [2023] ECHR 839 (26 October 2023)
Case concerning the alleged failure of the Hungarian authorities to conduct a swift examination in proceedings under the Hague Convention. Held, there had been a violation of Article 8. Full report: Bailii.

H (Children: Placement Orders) [2023] EWCA Civ 1245 (25 October 2023)
Appeal by Children's Guardian from (i) revocation of placement orders in relation to 2 children and (ii) decision not to remove 3rd child under a care order. Appeal allowed in relation to (i) but dismissed in relation to (ii). Full report: Bailii.

PACHECO CASTELO v. PORTUGAL - 13218/21 (Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life : Fourth Section Committee) [2023] ECHR 828 (24 October 2023)
Complaint by father that judgment of Portuguese Supreme Court keeping joint legal custody of his child with both parents and establishing her domicile with her grandmother amounted to a breach of his Article 8 rights. Held, there had been a violation of Article 8. Full report: Bailii.

SIOUD v. GERMANY - 48698/21 (Article 8 - Right to respect for private and family life : Fourth Section Committee) [2023] ECHR 830 (24 October 2023)
Application by father complaining of breach of Article 8 by domestic court when it suspended his contact with his daughter. Held, there had been a violation of Article 8. Full report: Bailii.