The last resort – without Jonathan Ross

Re LRP (Care Proceedings : Placement Order) 2013 and some labour saving remarks from the High Court.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Will you walk a little faster, said a whiting to a snail”

An application (unsuccessful) to commit Mr Whiting for alleged breaches of an injunction made in the Court of Protection. Re Whiting 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Section 37 reports are not a vehicle into which to pour professional angst

The High Court decision in Re M (Children) 2013, and the strong judicial comments about the need for section 7 and s37 reports to properly analyse the issues, AND a warning for Local Authorities who try to avoid responsibility for children in designated authority disputes.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Secret decision to remove

Suesspiciousminds examines A Local Authority v C 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Reporting restriction order

There is a new Reporting Restriction Order case up – Re TM 2013, decided by Holman J.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Now you found the secret code I use

Suesspiciousminds gives us the low-down on the 'Freedom of the Land' movement.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Anonymity in the courts: Part 1, the “forced Caeserean”

Rosalind English looks at AA, Re (Including: note by Mr Justice Mostyn) 4 December 2013 [2013] EWHC B24 (COP) and In the matter of P (a child) 13 December 2013 [2013] EWHC 4048 (Fam).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Blogosphere in the Judgosphere

"Today, “blogosphere” entered the judicial lexicon and I appeared in my first reported judgment." Says Lucy Reed, referring to the judgment in P (A Child).

Full post: Pink Tape

conditions on placement order, what does the Fox say ? (By fox, i mean Court of Appeal)

"The Court of Appeal in Re A (Children) 2013 grappled with an interesting issue." Says suesspiciousminds.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

It’s clobbering time ! Or not, as it turns out – Italian C-section case, the President’s judgment

Suesspiciousminds examines the reporting restriction judgment in P (A Child).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Young v Young: can “eye-watering” divorce costs be justified?

"In the aftermath of Young v Young, what should be done by the judiciary and practitioners to make fees in family proceedings proportionate?" Asks Pamela Collis.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

When will the court exercise its inherent jurisdiction?

The Supreme Court’s use of its inherent jurisdiction to order the return of a child to another country is analysed by David Williams QC, of 4 Paper Buildings.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Now its a trilogy…

"I felt that in the interests of completeness I ought to update my two previous posts on the C-section case, which I can now refer to as the case involving Italian mother Alessandra Pacchieri."

Full post: Pink Tape

Children in small ads

Another day, another scandal. The Telegraph reports this case where an Adoption Agency, “Adoptionplus” placed adverts in local newspapers saying that two children needed an adoptive placement and seeking adopters to care for them.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Pension wrongs

Judith Middleton considers some of the complexities of sorting out pensions on divorce.

Full post: Judith's Divorce Blog

Make them mediate! Is there a case for compulsion?

Marc Lopatin asks whether compulsion really going to restore mediation levels, let alone increase them.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Return of the Tzar

"Narey’s back on his adoption drum" says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

What IS the Court of Protection?

This is intended to be a beginner’s guide to the Court of Protection, not exclusively intended for lawyers.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Update on the Essex C-Section case

Lucy Reed brings us up to date with developments since her earlier post.

Full post: Pink Tape

Booker, Hemming and the “forced caesarian” case: a masterclass in Flat Earth news

Carl Gardner examines the truth behind the headlines.

Full post: Head of Legal

The Children and Families Bill 2013 – all change, but is it for the better?

"The Children and Families Bill 2013 represents one of the biggest shake-ups of the law relating to family life in years." Says Lorna Borthwick.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story eh?

Lucy Reed looks behind the headlines that suggest a woman was forced to have a caesarean so that social services could put her child into care.

Full post: Pink Tape

Clare’s Law (Again)

Lucy Reed has another look at the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme.

Full post: Pink Tape

Rearrange these three letters – F, W, T

"This is the private law case of Re C (A child) 2013, and frankly, the Court of Appeal missed a trick in not naming it Re (WTF?) 2013."

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Islamic “marriage” ceremony at home declared invalid by Court of Protection

A look at A Local Authority v SY [2013] EWHC 3485 COP.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

When parents aren’t parents

The unusual features of Re BB (A Minor) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The leave to oppose Tsunami

As anticipated, since Re B-S showed practitioners that the historically high (perhaps even insurmountable) test for leave to oppose adoption applications had been too high, and too heavily weighted in relation to the factor of potential disruption to the child in placement, the appeals have started to come in.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Young v Young – a cautionary tale

Most practitioners will be familiar with the long running case of Young v Young and the wife’s efforts to prove that the husband was not insolvent but rather that he had hidden substantial assets in order to defeat her claims.

Full post: Family Law Blog

The use of ISWs in care proceedings

Dr Julia Brophy's paper "Neither Fear Nor Favour: The views and practices of senior judges regarding the use and value of independent social work expertise in care proceedings".

Full post: Family Law Week blog

Private Law Thoughts

Lucy Reed has been reviewing the Children & Families Bill in light of the Child Arrangements Programme proposed by the working group on private law proceedings.

Full post: Pink Tape

The new CAP for private law work – will it fit and do we want to wear it?

Following the flood of recent information and directives in relation to the public law outline, it was only a matter of time before the President turned his attentions to the system of private law children work.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Pure and Simple – the Court of Appeal attack hearsay

Suesspiciousminds looks at the case Re W (Fact Finding : Hearsay) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Opening up the family courts: can the “doubters” ever be satisfied?

The speech of our ubiquitous President to the Society of Editors.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

DOWN: Private Law Programme. UP: Child Arrangements Programme?

A look at the Private Law Working Group report regarding the resolution of private law disputes in and out of court.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

All change for children law

An analysis of the Children and Families Bill.

Full post: Family Law Blog

“A fast car and an open road” – non-disclosers and adverse inferences

Guest blogger Margaret Heathcote looks at cases involving the failure of (at least) one party to make full and frank disclosure of their financial assets and affairs, with a view to undermining the financial claims of the other.

Full post: Family Matters

Re J (A Child), Limiting the scope of injunctions in family cases – Hugh Tomlinson QC

In the case of Re J (A Child) ([2013] EWHC 2694 (Fam), the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, considered an application for a contra mundum injunction by Staffordshire County Council.

Full post: Inforrm's Blog

Null and void (or not)

A Local Authority v X and Another 2013. This was a set of care proceedings, within which the Local Authority applied under the Inherent Jurisdiction for a declaration that the marriage the child had entered into should not be recognised in English law.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The B-S hall of fame

What follows is a short summary of the main principles from Re B & the subsequent cases including B-S on the court's approach to performing the balancing exercise in evaluating care plans involving placement away from the family. I will add to the summary as any more cases are decided.

Full post: Family Law Week blog

It ain’t me babe, it ain’t me you’re looking for

The perplexing circumstances of London Borough of Barnet and M1 (aka M2) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The Supreme Court ~ J (Children) [2013] UKSC 9 and Re B (A Child) [2013] UKSC 33

A difficult area of family law is that relating to Public Law proceedings where the courts are empowered to make orders which could have the result that a child is removed from the natural family. Various recent cases demonstrate all too well some of the profound difficulties involved.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Re Davies: Family found in contempt for failure to comply with location order

A look at the case Re Davies [2013] EWHC 3294 (Fam).

Full post: Family Lore

‘Family Law Reform: Some Missing Views’ by Rebekah Wilson

"I fear there is another view not being talked about so forcefully within the reform of family justice and in particular care proceedings. These are the views of the current Lord Chancellor, Mr Chris Grayling."

Full post: Garden Court Family Law Blog

Human error in the lab

X Local Authority v Trimega 2013 (this one may make you shudder, as you think of all the cases where scientific results have played a part in the decision).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A v D: Traversing the threshold to terminate parental responsibility

A brief summary of A v D (Parental Responsibility) [2013] EWHC 2963 (Fam).

Full post: Family Lore

Placement orders v Court of Appeal part 8

Re F (A child) 2013 - Another Placement Order overturned on appeal (not sent back for re-hearing this time).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Unravelling the Triad

The judgment of Mostyn J in Lancashire County Council and R 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

It isn’t Re JB, it is Re C

The Court of Appeal case I talked about at the weekend, which decided that the original Judge had not been wrong in making a Placement Order (and thus showing that the Court of Appeal aren’t just going to say “no” to every single Placement Order) is now out on Bailli and is Re C (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

No wonder you’re late – why this watch is exactly two days slow

Yet more quest for perfection from the President. Mark this well. Re W (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Court orders MMR vaccine for children

The High Court has ruled that two sisters must receive the MMR vaccine against their wishes and the wishes of their mother.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

The effect of litigation upon children

A summary of the judgment in S-K (Children).

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

“Dual-planning in final care plans– does it exist post Re B-S?”

Cases in the County Court don’t often make it onto Bailii law reports (though at some impending future time they all will), but this one is interesting and potentially important, not least because it identifies a conflict between two existing Court of Appeal authorities - Re D-R (Children) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

We’re going to need a bigger bundle”

The Court of Appeal decision in Re W (A child) v Neath Port Talbot Council 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Yet more Serious Case Reviews

Whatever the collective noun for Serious Case Reviews is (a flurry, a murmuring, an avalanche, a papering, an omphaloskepsis*, a whitewashing?) that’s what we’ve had over the last few weeks.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A head-scratcher

The decision in Re AW (A Child : Leave to revoke Placement Order : Leave to oppose adoption) 2013 and why it made me blink incessantly whilst trying to figure it out.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

You say “Investing”, I say “embezzling”, let’s call the whole thing off

Suesspiciousminds looks at the Court of Protection case The Public Guardian v C 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Being a deputy is not a licence to loot

A Court of Protection case has recently tackled the issue of a person with considerable financial means but no capacity to manage her affairs, and the deputies appointed by the Court having made extensive ‘gifts’ from her financial estate and seeking retrospective approval for them: MJ and JM v The Public Guardian 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Are we learning anything?

A discussion on Serious Case Reviews, Keanu Williams and Professor Ray Jones.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Capacity to consent to sexual intercourse

Another useful case on this issue from Baker J sitting in the Court of Protection: A Local Authority v TZ 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Low pain threshold

Lucy Reed considers the guidance on drafting threshold documents.

Full post: Pink Tape

Challenging adoption order using human rights

Where a Court has already made an order that a child may be placed for adoption and that has happened and the prospective adopter has applied for an Adoption Order, in what circumstances can a parent seek to stop it going ahead?

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

“Eggs, eggs, damn all eggs!”

Judicial wrath about the pervasiveness of the word “concerns” in a care case, and the word being used to mask the lack of substantiated evidence or allegations. Re Avon, North Somerset and Gloucestershire Public Law Case 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

When adoption without consent breaches human rights

Re B-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1146 is the latest Judgment of the Court of Appeal on non-consensual adoption since the Supreme Court authorized a closer scrutiny of first instance decisions in Re B.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Some things which have bothered me lately….

Lucy Reed has a rant about some things that have bothered her whilst doing public law children work.

Full post: Pink Tape

Denial of contact with father too “draconian” – Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has taken the unusual step of reversing a denial of contact order, by reviewing the question of the proportionality of the order in relation to the children’s right to family life under Article 8.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there – An Unapologetic Rant

Sarah Phillimore asks how we are supposed to reconcile the President’s views about the urgent need for a change in culture with what the he goes on to endorse in the judgement in Re B-S (Children).

Full post: Pink Tape

Family law, adoption and the rights of children

"Sir James Munby only became President of the Family Division in January but he has certainly made his voice heard across legal circles in the eight months since then." Says Marilyn Stowe.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

All change for the family justice system: cost-cutting is driving reform

Earlier this month saw the delivery of the sixth View from the President’s Chambers from the Sir James Munby. It is (as were his previous “Views”) almost entirely concerned with change, otherwise known as reform.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Re A (A Child)

For those of you who had been pondering about the applicability of Re B [2013] UKSC 33 to private law cases – Re A (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1104 goes some distance towards providing an answer.

Full post: Pink Tape

M (Children): Refusing contact is draconian

A brief look at M (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 1147, an appeal by a father against an order refusing his application for contact with his three sons.

Full post: Family Lore

Inconsistent statements and eating more porridge than Orinoco Womble

The decision of the Court of Appeal in Re L-R (Children) 2013, which was an 18 month sentence for not giving evidence.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The Daniel Pelka serious case review

Suesspiciousminds examines the Daniel Pelka serious case review.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Relocation Research - first paper now available

In my last post, I published the Executive Summary from my new paper, "Relocation Disputes in England and Wales: First Findings from the 2012 Study". The full paper is now available to download free of charge from the Social Science Research Network.

Full post: Legal Liberal

“This is some serious B-S….”

The Court of Appeal decision in Re BS (Children) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

You have the right to remain silent (or do you?)

The decision to give permission to appeal in Re K (children) 2013 might well become an important one, when the full appeal is heard.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Social Work Leaders Mightily Naffed Off With Transparency Ruling

"As well they might be. It’s the instinct of self-preservation kicking in I guess. I can’t blame ‘em for that. But whilst sympathetic on a human level I do think they’re wrong." Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

Historical amputations and lessons

Suesspiciousminds considers, with reference to the 26 week timetable, whether speed is the best measure of something.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

‘Munby ruling fuels idea that social workers are just child snatchers’

Nushra Mansuri, professional officer at the British Association of Social Workers, asks how the recent Munby judgement will lead to greater confidence in the family courts when some newspapers have a ‘malevolent agenda’ when reporting on social work.

Full post: The Children's Services Blog

Court of Appeal laments systemic failures in family justice

Re A (a child) [2013] EWCA Civ 1104 – Appellate judges are obliged to review systemic failings in the family justice system as a whole, not just the merits of the trial judge’s determination, particularly where the process has deprived the parties of their rights to procedural fairness under Articles 6 and 8.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Re. J (A Child): the family justice system meets the “realities of the internet”

A new judgment handed down by Lord Justice Munby examines, in his words, “important questions about the extent to which the public should be able to read and see what disgruntled parents say when they speak out about what they see as deficiencies in the family justice system.”

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Transparency and vampire-ish creatures

Where we are following the President’s decision in Re J (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Double Whammy Granny

"I was recently gossiping with a solicitor who insisted that a county court local-ish to me had been insisting on charging not one but two issue fees for grandparents private law applications – one on issue and one on permission being granted, i.e. for the substantive s8 application." Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

“Implacably hostile” mothers are a small minority, claims study

As I noted on this blog back in July, a new study has concluded that although “implacably hostile mothers” exist, they represent a relatively small minority of enforcement cases.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Triborough a little tenderness

A dash through the evaluation of the Tri-borough project aimed at completing care proceedings within 26 weeks.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Enforcement of Contact

The Nuffield Foundation has published a research briefing regarding research undertaken in respect of enforcement of contact orders.

Full post: Pink Tape

Removal of a vulnerable adult from his home

The decision of the Court of Protection in Re A Local Authority v WMA 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The Commital-ments

Two recent cases on committals – one resulting in a suspended sentence, one resulting in the committal being dismissed on some interesting technicalities.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Capacity and Vasectomy

The decision in Re DE 2013 , and issues arising from this.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

What the Court want from experts, and other adventures in judicial ass-whupping

The guidance given by the High Court in Re IA (A Child: Fact Finding: Welfare: Single Hearing : Experts Reports) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

M v M: "A fantastic charade with the husband a shady puppet master in the background"

The eagerly-anticipated report in the record-breaking financial remedies case M v M has now been published on the Judiciary of England and Wales website.

Full post: Family Lore

“Hope your child enjoyed their stay, now if you could just settle your bill, please”

The legal implications of the mooted proposals from Worcestershire to charge parents for voluntary foster care.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Guidance to Local Authorities where one parent murders the other

The High Court addressed the issue in Re N v B and Others 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Man of Straw and costs”

Making a costs order in private law proceedings against a man with no ability to pay – the Court of Appeal decision in Re G (Children) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Inherently nothing, nothing inherently

A (hopefully short) discussion about the inherent jurisdiction, particularly as it applies to adults.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Deprivation of liberty and force-feeding

The Court of Protection grappled with a difficult issue in A NHS Trust v Dr A 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Open justice but closed mouths?

"The juggle to balance calls for a more transparent and open system of family justice against the rights of families and children to privacy has been the subject of significant debate in recent years." Says Sarah Wright.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Laying down a marker – the Court of Appeal speaks on analysis of welfare checklist

Suesspiciousminds examines G (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 965 (30 July 2013)

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Capacity to marry”

Sandwell MBC and RG, GG and SK and SKG 2013 and whether an arranged marriage where the individual had no capacity should endure or be dismantled.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Forced marriage ~ Enforcement of Protection Orders

May a Police Force apply for a person to be committed to prison for contempt of court for breach of a Forced Marriage Protection Order (FMPO) when the police were not the applicants who obtained the order? ObiterJ looks at Bedfordshire Police Constabulary v RU & Anor.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

One flew over the Cuckold’s nest

Suesspiciousminds looks at the peculiar set of facts of Re M, which hinged on whether a child had been conceived by artificial insemination, or in the traditional way, and if the former, whether the husband of the mother had consented.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Rubric’s cube”

Suesspiciousminds discusses the case K (A Child: Wardship: Publicity) [2013] EWHC B11 (Fam).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

PM v MB & Anor: The father who blamed everyone... but himself

A summary of PM v MB & Anor [2013] EWCA Civ 969, which involved a father's appeal against the refusal of parental responsibility and the making of a s.91(14) order.

Full post: Family Lore

Enforcement tips and tricks – part two

"In this concluding part I will consider the following potential enforcement remedies: Hadkinson relief, orders subject to conditions, declarations of beneficial interest, an order for lump sum(s) and in default an order for sale, drafting maintenance orders, payment on account of costs, interest, a general application for enforcement; and committal by way of a judgment summons."

Full post: Family Law Blog

Truly Exceptional

"A while back I made a Freedom of Information Act request to the Legal Aid Agency for figures in relation to applications for exceptional funding under s10 LASPO." Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

Enforcement tips and tricks – part one

In the current economic climate and the international age in which we work, family practitioners increasingly face the need to enforce (both within this jurisdiction and abroad) orders made in financial remedy proceedings.

Full post: Family Law Blog

“You’ve lost your lipgloss honey”

Whether the test is “wrong” or “plainly wrong” for an Appeal, and we shall know definitively after Re BS, when deciding whether to give permission, where is the bar set? Suesspiciousminds looks at H v G (Adoption Appeal) [2013] EWHC 2136 (Fam).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant”

Transparency, openness and the family Courts, and the President’s proposal for changes.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A statistical analysis of recent adoption trends, and the pursuit of a financial agenda

The government has today published the latest round of adoption statistics for England and Wales.

Full post: Family Matters

It’s as plainly wrong as the nose on your face

"In Re BS (Children) 2013, Permission was granted by MacFarlane LJ for an appeal from a decision of Parker J to refuse leave to oppose an adoption hearing, and it seems, from the reading of his decision, that he probably would have refused permission to appeal prior to Re B." Says suesspiciousminds.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

New guidance on allocation, transparency and family orders

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has issued his fourth View from the President’s Chambers which includes new guidance on standardisation of family orders, allocation and gate keeping, and transparency in family proceedings.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Voice of the child in pre-proceedings work

Suesspiciousminds discusses the pre-proceedings pilot.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Here comes my nineteenth nervous (adoption) breakdown

Suesspiciousminds looks at Re W [2013]: "A quirky little case, considering what happens when an adoptive placement breaks down to the point where all concerned would really like to effectively delete the adoption order."

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Making costs orders against a non-party – is that the sound of floodgates opening?

The High Court have determined in Re HB, PB and London Borough of Croydon 2013, that a Court may legitimately make an order for wasted costs against an agency who was not a party to proceedings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Crunchy numbers

Suesspiciousminds examines how many care cases a lawyer has to do to cover his wages.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Costs orders against local authorities in private law proceedings

A High Court Judge has taken the unusual step of ordering a local authority to pay a parent’s legal costs.

Full post: Family Matters

Stories from the conflict zone

Being ‘conflicted out’ of a case is 
a challenge you must deal with quickly 
and cleanly, before it goes too far 
says Marilyn Stowe.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

International Surrogacy - Is a global response achievable?

A report published this week examines the legal structures relating to surrogacy across the EU Membership.

Full post: Family Matters

Contact after Adoption - Is it still the exception?

A Judge in the High Court has taken the unusual step of making an order providing for an adopted child to have a continuing relationship with his birth family.

Full post: Family Matters

Cafcass Data

Lucy Reed examines data she has received about Cafcass under Freedom of Information Act requests.

Full post: Pink Tape

Doc, Doc,Doc Doc Doctor Beat

When Judges disagree with doctors – I’ve been interested in this for a little while now, and another case of this type has just flitted across my screen, so, a quick run down of the recent reported cases where the Courts have, in considering an NAI case, gone against the medical evidence (or at least some of the medical evidence) to find that the parent had not caused the injury.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Arbitrate Me Baby

Apparently, in relation to a post-award consent order lodged at a county court, the solicitor for one of the parties requested a judicial view on the question: ‘What effect should the fact of an arbitration award have on the exercise of judicial discretion in deciding whether to approve the terms of a Consent Order.’

Full post: Pink Tape

View from the President’s Chambers – part 3

"The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, recently handed down his third View from the President’s Chambers, focusing on the reform of expert evidence." Says Geraldine Morris.

Full post: Family Law Blog

You be frank, I’ll be earnest

Suesspiciousminds looks at the judgment in Re L and M (Children) [2013].

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Family Law - some recent developments in childcare law

An update on SOME of the recent developments in child care family law.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

CW v SG: the law and terminating parental responsibility

"Refusal to grant PR to a father by a mother is one of the thorniest issues in family law." Says Marilyn Stowe, as she looks at the recent case of CW v SG.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Case Comment: Re B (a child) [2013] UKSC 33

Tessa Buchanan comments upon the Supreme Court case of Re B (A Child).

Full post: UKSC blog

US Supreme Court opens door to marriage equality, UK coming next

In rulings that have the potential to influence the jurisprudence of courts around the world, the Supreme Court of the United States has handed down two landmark decisions pertaining to the issue of same-sex marriage.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

UL and BK – a stark warning to lawyers from Mr Justice Mostyn

A High Court judge has refused to renew a freezing order imposed on an unnamed billionaire after his wife admitted breaking into his safe.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Excuse me, waiter? Could I have some MORE guidance please? Bit of a guidance drought over here….

Lucy Reed looks at the latest guidance from the President, dealing with 'allocation, docketing and the like'.

Full post: Pink Tape

The law, international relocation and children – an update

Solicitor Laura Guillon takes an in-depth look at the case of Re TC v JC (Children: Relocation) [2013] EWHC 292 (Fam).

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Supreme Court considers conditions for removing child for adoption

Rosalind English examines the Supreme Court decision in In the matter of B (a child).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Eating cabin-boys and instructing experts

Suesspiciousminds turns his attention to Re H-L (A Child) [2013].

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Emotional wrecks

Suesspiciousminds gives further consideration to the Supreme Court decision in Re B (A Child).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Empathy, anxiety and resilience: Lady Hale in the Supreme Court yesterday

Observations on Lady Hale's judgment in Re B (a Child).

Full post: The Not So Big Society

Supreme Court and emotional harm

Suesspiciousminds considers the supreme Court judgment in Re B (A Child).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A case of oversharing

The Law Society has issued social media guidelines for solicitors, but it’s time we 
do the same for clients, 
says Marilyn Stowe.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Rescuing children from significant harm: looking forward with trepidation and hope

Allan Norman looks forward to the Supreme Court judgment in B (A Child).

Full post: The Not So Big Society

“Tales of the Un-experted” (sorry)

CAFCASS have just published a study looking at experts – their use in proceedings, what type is being used, who asked for them, were they helpful?

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“I hope he gets to / baptising me soon”

Suesspiciousminds looks back at the case Re C (A Child) [2012] EW Misc 15 (CC).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“The peril of Auntie Beryl”

"As the 26 week time limit comes upon us (being introduced by Parliament, the President’s revised PLO guidance and behind the scenes pressure on Courts and Local Authorities via the “Stick of Statistics” - not necessarily in that order), I have been musing about the elephant in the room, of what happens when late in the proceedings, the Court is presented with a suitable relative, Auntie Beryl."

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Don’t put your daughter on the stage – if you want to claim Disability Living Allowance for her”

The High Court have just published twin judgments on an interesting case, relating to reporting restriction orders – Re Z v News Group Newspapers 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

You have been consulted

Lucy Reed looks at the Government's Transforming Legal Aid consultation.

Full post: Pink Tape

Bipolar patient has capacity to decide to terminate pregnancy

A discussion of Re SB (A patient; capacity to consent to termination) [2013] EWHC 1417 (COP) 21 May 2013.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

View from the President 2 : Into Darkness ?

"The President of the Family Division has published his second bulletin/speech/rallying cry/let’s get ready to rumble." Says suesspiciousminds.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

I have been modernised…

"This week I attended a lecture by our new Designated Family Judge here in Bristol, His Honour Judge Wildblood QC, to inform the legal community about modernisation, the new PLO and how things will be in the new world order." Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

“Friendly McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear”

Suesspiciousminds looks at the (as yet) unreported Court of Appeal case Re F (Children) [2013].

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Doom and Gloom and very black Coffee

Lucy Reed contemplates the future. And drinking coffee.

Full post: Pink Tape

“As a drunkard uses a lamppost…”

A discussion of the new CAFCASS figures on care proceedings issued by Local Authority area.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“I’m on the edge, the edge, the edge, the edge…”

Suesspiciousminds looks at the research by Judith Masson (et al) on families on the edge of care proceedings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Is the test for capacity to cohabit the same as the test for capacity to marry?”

A discussion of PC (by her litigation friend the Official Solicitor)[1] and NC [2] v City of York Council [2013] EWCA Civ 478.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Vince v Wyatt: Striking out a statement of case

A summary of Vince v Wyatt [2013] EWCA Civ 495, which concerned a husband's application to strike out a financial remedies claim made by the wife some eighteen years after the parties were divorced.

Full post: Family Lore

“On the twelfth day of proceedings, my true love sent to me…”

"A purposeful and robust CMC. Or that is the plan in the imminent revised Public Law Outline anyway. Let’s have a look, day by day, at what that might mean for the beleaguered parents solicitor."

Full post: suesspiciousminds

O-ver-load

Lucy Reed is "struggling to absorb the vast amounts of new guidance, update and direction".

Full post: Pink Tape

LAA LAA land (or judicially reviewing the legal aid bods and winning)

A discussion of T, R and Legal Aid Agency 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Cutting edge forensic linguistics”

A discussion of the Court of Protection case of PS v LP 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

LAA must give reasons about funding expert assessments in care proceedings

R (on the application of T) v Legal Aid Agency (formerly Legal Services Commission) [2013] EWHC 960 (Admin) Collins J, 26 April 2013. This successful challenge to a decision by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA) arose from an expert assessor in family proceedings – not unnaturally – refusing to begin work unless funding was in place.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Care inquiry – We need a cultural change in how we perceive children in care

As the Care Inquiry publishes its findings of an eight-month inquiry into the care system by eight leading children’s charities, including the Fostering Network, TACT and the British Association for Adoption and Fostering, BASW professional officer Sue Kent examines the issues.

Full post: BASW

Genetic testing of children up for adoption

A discussion of Y and Z (Children), 25 April 2013 [2013] EWHC 953 (Fam).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Justice Minister Lord McNally: cutting costs in family law

"I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read a certain speech by Lord McNally", says Marilyn Stowe.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Devon County Council v EB & Ors (Minors): Final observations of Mr Justice Baker

I do not propose to summarise this case, just to set out the final observations made by Mr Justice Baker at the end of his judgment, which I think are of particular note.

Full post: Family Lore

Huntingdon’s disease and testing children

A heartbreakingly sad, but interesting High Court case (Re Y and Z (Minors) 2013) recently grappled with a very difficult issue.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

In with the in-crowd: the Hague Abduction Convention gang grows...

Duncan Ranton looks at developments in Japan and Pakistan.

Full post: Family Matters

Avoiding catastophes

The peculiar, and desperately sad, case of Re C (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Stick to the day job

Lucy Reed explains why people who work with children should have a basic knowledge of parental responsibility.

Full post: Pink Tape

Local authority ordered to pay substantial costs in family human rights case

A & S v. Lancashire County Council [2013] EWHC 851 (Fam) was a costs application arising from an extremely important decision by Peter Jackson J in June 2012.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

“How safe are our children?”

The NSPCC report on child abuse and neglect.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Local authorities and the duty to consult with parents

An examination of R (on the application of H) v Kingston Upon Hull City Council & KS, AS, SS, TS and FS (Interested Parties) [2013] EWHC 388 (Admin).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

“The driver cannot ignore the passengers”

The judicial review case of H R v Kingston Upon Hull 2013 – where the Court found that a failure to consult with parents BEFORE making a decision to move children under an ICO was unlawful.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

T v T: The separation agreement that was never made into an order

A quick look at T v T [2013] EWHC B3 (Fam) (28 January 2013), which concerned a husband's application to show cause why a financial agreement should not be made an order of the court.

Full post: Family Lore

Terminating parental responsibility

The High Court decision of DW (A Minor) & Another v SG 2013 and the possible revival of applications to terminate a father’s parental responsibility.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

G-C (A Child): Moving contact on, or not

A short note on G-C (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 30.

Full post: Family Lore

“Not with a bang, but a whimper”

Possible fallout from R (JG) v the Legal Services Commission 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Transformers…. Cutting robots in disguise

Suesspiciousminds looks at the new consultation “Transforming Legal Aid”.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“It is not down on any map, true places never are”

The DFE Adoption maps and what we can learn from them, if anything.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“How’s that?”

"When does judicial intervention cross the line into being improper and showing bias?" Asks suesspiciousminds.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Enforcement of custody in the face of children’s dissent: should law prevail?

Raw and others v France – This complicated inter-jurisdictional battle between estranged parents is a stark illustration of how difficult it can be in these sorts of cases to apply the law in the fog of family warfare.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

“If you ever go across the sea to Ireland”

A discussion of two cases dealing with parents who fled to Ireland to avoid pending care proceedings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“You’re fired! Now, can I have an adjournment?”

Suesspiciousminds looks at Re L (A Child) 2013, where the decision to refuse an adjournment was overturned, and Re GB (Children) 2013, where the refusal of the adjournment was approved.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Absolutely Transparent

"Transparency in family justice is an issue that cannot be swept under the carpet – it ain’t going away." Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

What to do in the interim?

Interlocutory orders when the Court is faced with disputed allegations of non-accidental injury.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Government to review child protection thresholds

The government is set to review child protection thresholds and whether there should be nationally set “triggers” for taking a child into care.

Full post: The Children's Services Blog

Access all stakeholders

Lucy Reed explains the Family Justice Knowledge Hub.

Full post: Pink Tape

Does a child have a RIGHT to give evidence? Does anyone?

The Court of Appeal decision in Re P-S (Children) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Child care proceedings ~ hearing the views of the child

"P-S (Children) [2013] EWCA Civ 223 is an interesting case - Judgment. It concerned care proceedings in which a 15 year old child wished to attend court to give evidence in support of his case to return to the care of his Mother." Says ObiterJ.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Haranguing Haringey

The case of AB and Another v London Borough of Haringey 2013 and the valuable lessons that can be learned from it.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Quashing the child protection investigation: self-serving or breaching the dam?

Part 2 of a discussion of AB & Anor, R (on the application of) v The London Borough of Haringey [2013] EWHC 416 (Admin).

Full post: The Not So Big Society

Data-gathering: damned if we do, damned if we don’t?

Part 1 of a discussion of AB & Anor, R (on the application of) v The London Borough of Haringey [2013] EWHC 416 (Admin).

Full post: The Not So Big Society

“Ex parte removal by the back door”

A discussion of the Court of Appeal decision in Re L (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

KS v ND (Schedule 1: Appeal: Costs): The madness of reckless litigation

KS v ND (Schedule 1: Appeal: Costs) [2013] EWHC 464 (Fam) is yet another salutary tale of of the costs consequences of "reckless and foolhardy" litigation.

Full post: Family Lore

A little help from my McKenzie Friend – might be frowned upon

"I revisited the case of Re H (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 1797 recently, having read a blog post about it on Suesspicious Minds entitled Oh Lord, won’t you buy me, a McKenzie Friend?" Says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

Case Comment – In the Matter of J (Children) [2013] UKSC 9

On 20 February 2013 the Supreme Court handed down judgment in the matter of J (Children).

Full post: UKSC blog

Case Comment: Re L and B (Children) [2013] UKSC 8

This case concerned a judge’s power to reverse his/her decision before an order has been perfected.

Full post: UKSC blog

French authorities failed British mother in Cross-Channel custody dispute

The European Court of Human Rights found today that the French authorities had failed to have sufficient respect for the family life of a British mother and her two children.

Full post: Family Matters

TF v FF: Discouraging profligate waste of costs

As Mr Justice Jackson said when he began his brief judgment, his decision in TF v FF [2013] EWHC 390 (Fam) contains a somewhat novel element.

Full post: Family Lore

“To lose on a case once in the Court of Appeal may be regarded as a misfortune, to lose three times on the same case looks like carelessness”

The misadventures of the LA in the case of Re B (2012) (the Slovakian grandmother case).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

See Through Justice

Lucy Reed explains how transparency is edging closer.

Full post: Pink Tape

Keep feeling FAScination, or Bolt-On Wanderers

If you do any advocacy in family proceedings, you will be familiar with the FAS form (the Family Advocacy Scheme) that the advocate has to hand in to the Court to have stamped, in order to get paid for their work.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

What does “exceptional” mean in a post-LASPO world?

"Some have speculated that once LASPO 2012 has been implemented on 1 April and pretty much everything falls out of scope there will be plenty of – erm – scope – for applications under the “exceptional cases” provisions" says Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

TC and JC (Children: Relocation): The presently governing principles of relocation

A summary of TC v JC (Children: Relocation) [2013] EWHC 292 (Fam), decided on the 21st of February.

Full post: Family Lore

Vulnerable witnesses revisited

The Court of Appeal have looked again at a case involving the issues of a vulnerable adult giving evidence. Re M (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Lancashire Hot Pot(ato) “

The Supreme Court have given their decision in Re J, looking at whether a finding of fact that an injury was caused and neither parent can be excluded, forms a basis for finding that such a parent would be a risk to children in a new relationship.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me, a McKenzie Friend ?

The Court of Appeal considered the role of McKenzie Friends, post the Practice Note guidance, in the case of Re H (Children) 2012 Neutral Citation Number: [2012] EWCA Civ 1797.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Finding” out the hard way

A discussion of the High Court decision of A London Borough v A and Others 2013, and what it tells us about coming to terms with difficult findings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Relocation Applications and the 1996 Hague Convention

A discussion of the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.

Full post: Family Matters

RCW v A Local Authority: An unusual and troubling case

A summary of RCW v A Local Authority [2013] EWHC 235 (Fam) (12 February 2013).

Full post: Family Lore

Children must not pay price of targets to reduce time on care proceedings

BASW professional officer Sue Kent examines the issues raised by a new report from the Child Protection All Party Parliamentary Group, which highlights a family courts system under extreme pressure.

Full post: BASW

H (A Child):The harm of delay

A brief discussion of H (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 72 (13 February 2013).

Full post: Family Lore

Court of appeal sweepstake

Yet more pondering about the 26 week timetable unofficial roll-out a year in advance of the projected Children and Families Bill becoming law, and whether there is a hint in the Family Modernisation second update?

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“An unhelpful cocktail”

The interesting case of Re A (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Dad Tax?

Having read a little bit about the rather unpopular bedroom tax this week I was struck by the way that the approach of two different government policies in separate areas appear to be in tension with one another.

Full post: Pink Tape

Re A (A Child): Wasted costs application by local authority

A quick note on Re A (A Child) [2013] EWCA Civ 43, which concerned a local authority's application for a wasted costs order against a firm of solicitors that acted for parents in care proceedings.

Full post: Family Lore

Is there a meaningful right to silence in care cases?

Suesspiciousminds asks the question.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“A Judge too far”

A quick discussion on the Court of Appeal decision in Re J-L (Children) 2012.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Court opens way to divorces by Sharia? Hold on a minute…

The Times (amongst others) today deserves a spell on the legal naughty step. Its headline announces that a judge’s decision “opens way to divorces by Sharia“.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

“Biological parent versus legal parents – OR Judge Fudge is far too busy being delicious”

A discussion of the High Court decision in Re S v D &E 2013, in which the High Court determined that a man who had donated sperm which led to the birth of a child could make an application under the Children Act 1989, although leave would be required.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Letters of Destruction

You may well have heard that the new guidance on the instruction of experts came into force today. If it is actually enforced, it will significantly reduce the number of experts and at the same time significantly increase the amount of preparatory work prior to requesting the involvement of an expert.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Case Preview: In the Matter of L-B (Children)

The Matter of L-B (Children), heard in the Supreme Court last week, concerns a judge’s power to change her decision where oral judgment has been given but no order has yet been perfected.

Full post: UKSC blog

In England, justice is open to all, like the Ritz Hotel

Is there a difference in family justice provided to middle-class parents? A discussiony paranoidy rant…

Full post: suesspiciousminds

BP v KP and NI (Financial Remedy Proceedings: Res Judicata)

A brief summary of BP v KP and NI (Financial Remedy Proceedings: Res Judicata) [2012] EWHC 2995 (Fam).

Full post: Family Lore

Marital settlements: single lump sums vs multiple lump sums

A new judgement delivered by Mrs Justice Baron, sitting with Lord Justices Thorpe and Kitchin, was published by the Court of Appeal yesterday. It involves a relatively small sum of money, but also some tricky money-based family law.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

“The purifying ordeal of skilled argument on the specific facts of a contested case”

A discussion of the Court of Appeal decision in Re TG (A Child) 2013.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Statutory orphans 2 (erm, “This time it’s practical”?)

The High Court have given some guidance [in A City Council v DC 2012] on how to deal with applications by a Local Authority to revoke a Freeing Order when their plan is no longer adoption.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Hamilton v Hamilton: Varying a lump sum order

A brief summary of Hamilton v Hamilton [2013] EWCA Civ 13.

Full post: Family Lore

“All right then, I WILL give evidence

A discussion of the very tricky problem in Re R (A Child) 2012.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Two thirds of children who died of abuse in 2012 could have been saved”

An examination of this very shocking claim from the Children’s Rights Alliance for England report, and discussion of the report itself.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Neglecting neglect

The Parliamentary report on child protection, and a discussion of it.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

When to apply for prior authority (and how long the LSC thinks assessments take)

"There has finally been some guidance published about this vexed issue", says suesspiciousminds.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

W (Children): The innocent bystander

A summary of W (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 1788 (15 November 2012), just reported on Family Law Week.

Full post: Family Lore

The role of the Court in assessing alternative medical treatment

A discussion of An NHS Trust v SR 2012.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Joint property ownership and TOLATA claims.

The Law Society and Land Registry have today published a Practice Note in relation to joint property ownership. Whilst it has been addressed for all those involved with conveyancing it is also a good aide memoire for those of us who undertake TOLATA claims.

Full post: marksageblogs

Semantics, pedantics and Neuro-mantics

A discussion of the fascinating “Blinded by neuroscience – social policy, the family and the infant brain” paper by David Wastell and Sue White.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Identity of social workers may be published following fostering bungle

A discussion of Bristol City Council v C and others [2012] EWHC 3748 (Fam).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

The Streisand effect and care proceedings

A discussion of Bristol City Council and Others 2012.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Imaginary written submissions

Suesspiciousminds considers what would have happened had Haringey Council applied for an Emergency Protection Order in the Baby P case.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

'Benefit cuts will not see more children taken into care; poverty does not equal neglect'

Cafcass is wrong, benefit cuts will not necessarily see more children taken into care, writes child protection consultant Joanna Nicolas.

Full post: The Children's Services Blog

Thompson v Hurst: Stack and Jones applied

A brief summary of Thompson v Hurst [2012] EWCA Civ 1752 (30 March 2012), reported today on Bailii.

Full post: Family Lore

A view from the litigant in person

A few weeks ago, I got chatting to a woman in my local pub – let’s call her Susan – who is embroiled in a legal battle in the family courts.

Full post: Law Society Gazette News blog