Monday, February 18, 2019

News Essentials: 18th February 2019

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

Council did not do enough to protect toddler from harm: Ombudsman
Child left with life-long injuries after opportunities missed to protect him. Full story: Family Law Week.

Girl must live with stranger instead of grandparents, judge rules
Croydon family court judge says blood relationship ‘powerful’ but not ‘definitive’. Full story: The Independent. See C (A Child), below.

Family Drug and Alcohol Courts backed by private donors
A group of private backers has agreed to fund a national unit supporting courts which help parents deal with drug or alcohol addiction so their children are not taken into care. Full story: BBC News.

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 and Court of Protection Rules 2017 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019
The amendments remove provision in the FPR and COPR which relates to powers, processes and orders under EU instruments or international agreements which will no longer be applicable or available when those instruments or agreements are revoked by the Withdrawal Act or the statutory instruments made under it, or in some cases amend such provision where such instruments are retained in an amended form. Statutory Instrument.

L-W Children [2019] EWCA Civ 159 (14 February 2019)
Care proceedings. Appeal by mother against finding that she had failed to protect children. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

Re E (Abduction Article 13B Deferred Return Order) [2019] EWHC 256 (Fam)
Application by father for summary return to Spain of child subject to care proceedings. Application dismissed. Full report: Family Law Week.

C (A child : care and a placement order) [2018] EWFC B87 (23 November 2018)
Care and placement proceedings in respect of a child born in 2017. Special guardianship order made in favour of mother's friend. Full report: Bailii.

S (Care plans in discharge applications), Re [2018] EWFC B88 (01 November 2018)
Applications by parents to discharge care orders in relation to four children, the parents having made 'extraordinary progress' since the orders were made. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Monday, February 11, 2019

News Essentials: 11th February 2019

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

CA: “Bully” judge forced mother to agree to care orders
A judge effectively bullied a mother into agreeing to interim care orders for her children against her wishes, the Court of Appeal has found. Full story: Legal Futures.

No-fault divorce to become the law
Long-awaited change will mean couples no longer have to allocate blame or mutually consent to ending marriage. Full story: The Guardian.

Government sets out new vision for legal support
A new strategy to help people resolve legal problems at the earliest opportunity and avoid the need for unnecessary court proceedings was unveiled today. Full story: Ministry of Justice.

New research: Government urged to reform overly-complex divorce system
New research published today by the Nuffield Foundation reinforces the case for reform of the overly complex divorce system in England and Wales. Full story: Nuffield Foundation.

Family law disputes involving EU after Brexit
What to do if you are involved in a family law dispute (including divorce and child maintenance) with someone living in the EU after Brexit. Full story: Ministry of Justice and Foreign & Commonwealth Office.

Property regimes for international couples in Europe
New rules apply in 18 Member States. Full story: Family Law Week.

Judge's Twitter plea to missing mum
A High Court judge has used Twitter to urge a mother who vanished with her three-year-old son to return home. Full story: BBC News.

R ( A Child : Appeal : Termination of Contact) [2019] EWHC 132 (Fam) (29 January 2019)
Appeal by father against order allowing indirect contact only. Appeal allowed in part. Full report: Bailii.

H (Childen) v (Appeal: Case Management: Part 25 Expert of Treatment) [2019] EWHC 237 (Fam) (21 January 2019)
Appeal by mother against case management decision in proceedings to enforce and vary child arrangements order. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

L v M [2019] EWHC 219 (Fam) (08 February 2019)
Application by father for return of children from China.Held that the children were habitually resident in China on the date they were unlawfully retained under article 10, and therefore the Court had no jurisdiction. Full report: Bailii.

G (Children: Fair Hearing), Re [2019] EWCA Civ 126 (07 February 2019)
Appeal by mother from interim care orders made in respect of two young children. Appeal allowed, on the basis that the judge subjected her to improper pressure, as a result of which she did not freely consent to the ICO. Full report: Bailii.

X (Wardship : Foreign Proceedings : Child's Evidence) [2019] EWHC 91 (Fam) (22 January 2019)
Case concerning issue of whether a ward should travel to India to give evidence in the trial of his mother, who is charged with his father's murder. Full report: Bailii.

E (Scottish Adopters: English Adoption Proceedings) [2019] EWFC 9 (06 February 2019)
Judgment considering whether an adoption application in respect of a child placed for adoption in Scotland with Scottish adopters can be determined in England. Full report: Bailii.

M (A Child) [2017] EWCA Civ 2679 (14 December 2017)
Appeal by mother against interim care order in relation to 8 week old child. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

C (A young person) [2018] EWHC 3834 (Fam) (02 July 2018)
Proceedings concerning the arrangements for a 16 year old, as between her father and aunt. Full report: Bailii.

LCN v KF & Ors [2019] EWCOP 1 (3 January 2019)
Application under section 18(1)(h) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 for the settlement of property of child on trust. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Missed opportunity: Wishy-washy legal aid report kicks effective support down the road

Jane Robey
Commenting on the Ministry of Justice’s Legal Support Action Plan, which follows the government’s review into the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (LASPO), Jane Robey, CEO of National Family Mediation, said:

“This is a missed opportunity: a very disappointing outcome to a process into which many professional organisations and individuals invested considerable time and ideas.

“We note there is a promise of more money for litigants in person. We sincerely hope this translates into considerably more resources for those organisations such as ourselves which are working with these people ,and providing accurate and bespoke information and guidance free of charge.

 “The report offers a number of broad, wishy-washy statements and recycled money which kick down the road the can of effective support to those who most need it.

“We are afraid that offering legal help hubs in GP practices smacks of a bid to create an eye-catching distraction from the real issues at stake for people suffering the consequences of being denied legal aid. 

“The delay in reviewing legal aid eligibility is baffling: all Ministers need to do is increase the threshold to allow more people access to legal aid: and this would be a great help in driving up numbers going into mediation which is, after all, supposed to be a government priority.

“Our nationwide network stands 100 per cent by our collective submission to the LASPO review, and we will continue to diligently put forward our ideas to transform the landscape for children and adults in separated families.”

New by me this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog

My posts this week on the Stowe Family Law Blog included:

Judicial guidance on the exercise of parental responsibility - As in the 2004 case A v A.

Wife fails to prevent arbitration award being put into effect - The rather more recent case BC v BG.

A public health approach to family justice - As considered by the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory.

Husband fails in lump sum claim centred on trust funds - The judgment of Mr Justice Holman in the case Daga v Bangur.

Have a good weekend.

Monday, February 04, 2019

500th edition of the Newsletter!


And they said it wouldn't last. I have just sent out the 500th edition of the Family Lore Focus Newsletter (yes, it's been going for ten years!).

The Newsletter is a free weekly email sent to subscribers, containing links to all of the the top family law news stories, cases, legislation, articles and blog posts that were reported on my sister site Family Lore Focus that week. The links come from across the web (not just one site!), and are all free to view. In this way, the Newsletter is intended to keep the reader up to date on the latest developments in family law, with no expense, and the minimum of effort.

You can subscribe to the Newsletter here - all that is required is your name and email address.

News Essentials: 4th February 2019

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

Resolution and The Law Society issue joint note on No-Deal Brexit and family law
Family lawyer organisation Resolution and The Law Society have issued a joint note for family lawyers in England and Wales, with recommendations in the event of no-deal in relation to Brexit on areas of family law including divorce, maintenance and children proceedings. Full story: Family Law.

'Lackadaisical' approach to case attacked by family judge
A family judge has warned family lawyers not to take a 'lackadaisical' approach to case preparation after the wrong person was summoned as a witness to attend court in a case involving a seven-week old baby who suffered burns covering her groin area. Full story: Law Society Gazette. See Re K & C (Children: Finding of Fact), below.

“Senior judge’s salary enough”, divorcing husband told
A divorcing husband’s income was equivalent to that of senior judges and more than sufficient for his post-divorce needs, the High Court has ruled. Full story: Legal Futures. See Daga v Bangur, below.

Family courts next to test video hearings
A test in the family courts will be the next step in exploring fully video hearings, against a backdrop of widespread concern about the technology among judges, it has emerged. Full story: Legal Futures.

ALC publish study on Judicial Approaches in Settlement Conference Pilots in Children Cases
Findings do not support roll out of the procedure in its current form. Full story: Family Law Week.

A (Children) [2019] EWCA Civ 74 (01 February 2019)
Appeal by mother from a fact finding judgment given in the course of private law proceedings concerning four children. Appeal allowed. Full report: Bailii.

G-P (A Child) [2019] EWCA Civ 56 (31 January 2019)
Care proceedings. Appeal by childminder against findings of fact in in relation to injuries suffered by child. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

Daga v Bangur [2018] EWFC 91 (11 December 2018)
Application by husband for a lump sum payment, or other capital provision from the wife, focusing on two discretionary trust funds of which the wife was the settlor and is a beneficiary. Full report: Bailii.

K & C (Children: Finding of Fact), Re [2018] EWFC B85 (12 October 2018)
Care proceedings concerning twin. Fact-finding hearing to ascertain who caused the injuries to one of the children. Full report: Bailii.

BC v BG [2019] EWFC 7 (28 January 2019)
Application by W that the final arbitral award should not be made an order of the court. Application rejected. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Internet Newsletter for Lawyers January/February 2019

The latest issue of the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is now published.
In this issue:
  • Social media – Paul Bernal examines why privacy is the key to Facebook's fake news problem
  • Social media – Alex Heshmaty and Nick Holmes consider how lawyers can make good use of the enigmatic Twitter
  • SEO – Eleanor Reynolds of Hallam Internet describes 10 simple checks to help improve your website's SEO health
  • Drones – Joanne Frears of Lionshead Law explains the regulation of drones and their impact on aerospace
  • Websites – Nick Holmes introduces the new incarnation of Venables Legal Resources
  • This Newsletter – Delia Venables bids farewell as editor of this Newsletter which she founded 20 years ago
  • The web – Nick Holmes explains the concept and ideals of the open web and the threats it faces

Monday, January 28, 2019

News Essentials: 28th January 2019

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

Corners may have to be cut and time limits exceeded: Family President
It is neither necessary nor healthy, “in these highly pressured times”, for the courts and the professionals to attempt to undertake ‘business as usual’, the President of the Family Division has said. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Family judge praised for ditching legal jargon so child can understand judgment
A family court judge has won plaudits for writing an adoption judgment without legal jargon. Full story: Legal Cheek. See Re X, below.

Almost half of us mistakenly believe that common law marriage exists
Almost half of people in England and Wales mistakenly believe that unmarried couples who live together have a common law marriage and enjoy the same rights as couples that are legally married. Full story: National Centre for Social Research.

Government publishes landmark domestic abuse bill
The government has unveiled the most comprehensive package ever to tackle domestic abuse. Full story: Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

Domestic abuse consultation response and draft bill
Government response to the domestic abuse consultation and draft Domestic Abuse Bill. Full story: Home Office and Ministry of Justice.

Lemmens v Barbara Brouwers (Ex Lemmens) [2018] EWCA Civ 2963 (27 November 2018)
Appeal by husband against costs order made at the conclusion of a hearing determining his application for a variation of periodical payments. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

X (A Child), Re [2018] EWFC B82 (19 December 2018)
Final hearing of uncontested care and placement proceedings in relation to a child aged under one, whose siblings had already been adopted. Full report: Bailii.

H, Re [2018] EWHC 3761 (Fam) (18 December 2018)
Judgment dismissing committal application due to fatal errors in the process. Full report: Bailii.

A Local Authority v BF [2018] EWCA Civ 2962 (21 December 2018)
Application for permission to appeal by a local authority against orders made under the inherent jurisdiction in relation to where a 97-year-old man should reside. Full report: Bailii.

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For more news, see here.

For more cases, see here.

To subscribe to the Family Lore Focus free weekly Newsletter (which includes links to all of the week's top family law news stories, cases, articles and blog posts), go here.