Will the truth ever out post-Imerman?

It has now been more than a year since the landmark Court of Appeal judgment in the case of Imerman v Tchenguiz. The decision, condemned by family lawyers at the time, has meant that litigants are no longer permitted to seize papers and documents left lying around, if it is deemed that such actions could breach a party’s “rights of confidence”.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

A matter of life or death: a minimally conscious patient

The case of W v M, S and a NHS Trust [2011] EWHC 2443 (Fam) 28th September 2011 concerned a lady, referred to as M, who is in a "minimally conscious state" which differs significantly from "vegetative state."

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Open letter to CAFCASS

Charles Place was suspended from CAFCASS in 2009 and allegations of misconduct made against him in connection with his voicing of concerns about the operation of CAFCASS were not upheld by the General Social Care Council.

Full post: Pink Tape

Re K (A Child): No jurisdiction to require father to vacate family home to faciliate contact

Re K (A Child) [2011] EWCA Civ 1075 (28 July 2011), reported today on Bailii, concerned a judge's attempt to establish contact between an eleven year-old child and her mother, who resides predominantly in Bulgaria.

Full post: Family Lore

Reebok, Cartier and the Bolton Law Society Family Law Conference

Another week, another football stadium! This time, it’s not Wembley but the Reebok Stadium: the home of Bolton Wanderers football team. It is also the venue for the Bolton Law Society Family Law Conference, which I chaired yesterday.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Lord Justice Wall lays down law on family court privacy

Sir Nicholas Wall, the President of the Family Division, has suspended a nine-month prison sentence for contempt of court given to Elizabeth Watson, a “private investigator” who published online sex abuse allegations which had been rejected by a series of judges.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Generation gap

The LPC equips young lawyers for the commercial world but leaves them without fully developed family law skills, says Marilyn Stowe as she despairs of her potential trainees.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Opening up the family courts

Last month the Ministry of Justice published a report of a pilot project that ran last year whereby participating family courts produced and published on Bailii written judgments of specified Children Act 1989 cases.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Government wrecks cohabitation reform in just 150 words

In 2005, the Government asked the Law Commission to report on possible changes to the law in relation to cohabitation.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

What Kind of Debate Should We Be Having About Domestic Violence?

I was prompted to write by the e petition ‘review of access laws for domestic abusers’. It says: ‘70% of cases in the family courts cite domestic abuse as a major concern yet only 1% are refused access. A review is required.’

Full post: Pink Tape

Child protection: can't afford to cut spending, can't afford not to

Record numbers of youngsters are being taken into care. As budgets tighten, how can councils rein in what some regard as unsustainable spending on children's social care?

Full post: Patrick Butler's cuts blog

Mansfield v Mansfield: Considering the origin of the family capital (i.e. as compensation for personal injuries)

"This appeal raises a single point of significance, and that is the degree to which the judge in ancillary relief proceedings should reflect the origin of the family assets in a substantial damages award on the settlement of a personal injuries claim".

Full post: Family Lore

A cautionary lesson: the Vicky Haigh and Liz Watson judgments

Sir Nicholas Wall has published his judgments in these cases involving Vicky Haigh, the woman John Hemming named in Parliament as a potential “secret prisoner” back in April after she spoke at a public meeting about the court case involving her child, and Elizabeth Watson, the woman who wrote e-mails and articles on the web in support of Ms. Haigh, and who made serious and false allegations against the father of the child.

Full post: Head of Legal

SK v WL: Valuing a post-separation contribution

SK v WL, despite being decided on the 26th February 2010, has just been reported on Bailii. It is an ancillary relief case, involving a husband's attempt to secure substantially more than 50% of the assets, on the basis of his post-separation contribution.

Full post: Family Lore

Book Review: THE RED BOOK (Family Court Practice 2011)

Many will already have their Red Book by now. But many will still be pondering it, increasingly conscious of the delicate balance between overheads and income.

Full post: Pink Tape

Announcing the Summer Competition winner: what next for the Chocolate Box Family?

Earlier this month I gave you, my readers, a fictional scenario. I described a family falling apart at the seams, and asked what advice you would give them.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog