What price the 350 page limit?

Local Authority A v N and others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

More money than cents

Re C (Older Children:Relocation) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

‘Form E-gate’—putting it in perspective

‘Deeply regrettable’. Those were the words the Rt Hon Michael Gove, Justice Secretary, used to describe the error on a version of the Ministry of Justice’s (MoJ) online Form E.

Full post: Family Law Blog

I have a warrant for your arrest… oh, no I don’t.

Al-Baker v Al-Baker 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The ISIS flag is apparently not a red flag

Re X (Children) (No3) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

But Belgium says no thanks

Re NA (dismissal of application under Hague Convention) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Wrongful removal—resolving issues of jurisdiction

The jurisdiction of an English court to order a wrongfully removed child to be returned to his country of habitual residence is examined by Michael Gration, barrister at 4 Paper Buildings, and Anne-Marie Hutchinson, partner at Dawson Cornwell, in light of the Supreme Court’s recent judgment in Re J (A Child) (1996 Hague Convention).

Full post: Family Law Blog

Not bias but a right old mess

The Court of Appeal judgment in Re H (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 1284.

Full post: Pink Tape

Guidance on foreign surrogacy

Re Z (Foreign Surrogacy:Allocation of work: Guidance on parental order reports) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The inexplicable nightmare (inexplicably) explained

Blackburn with Darwen BC v P (Flight to Latvia).

Full post: Pink Tape

The Latvian case – the judgment is up

This is a follow-up from Monday’s piece, about the latest Christopher Booker outrage.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

When can judges change their minds?

Re K-L (Children) (Fact-finding hearing: subsequent judgment reversing earlier findings) [2015] EWCA Civ 992, [2015] All ER (D) 264 (Oct).

Full post: Family Law Blog

A life that sparkles

This is a discussion about the decision in King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v C  2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Poppi Worthington – the long-awaited judgment

Cumbria County Council v M and F 2014.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Leave or remain? What the EU referendum means for family lawyers (Pt 2)

Family analysis: In a conclusion to a two-part analysis, David Hodson OBE, partner and co-founder of The International Family Law Group LLP, sets out his views on the implications of a departure from the EU for family lawyers and their clients.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Leave or remain? What the EU referendum means for family lawyers (Pt 1)

Family analysis: A referendum on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU is scheduled to take place by the end of 2017. In the first of a two-part analysis, David Hodson OBE, partner and co-founder of The International Family Law Group LLP, highlights the current impact of EU law on family lawyers and their clients.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Social workers slammed for lying on oath

A, B, C, D and E (Final Hearing) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Cracking a case at IRH without father present – robust case management or jumping the gun?

RE v North Yorkshire County Council and Others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Best interests, hard choices: The Baby C case

Judgments in best interests cases involving children often make for heart-wrenching reading. And so it was in Bolton NHS Foundation Trust v C (by her Children’s Guardian)

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Case Comment: Gohil v Gohil [2015] UKSC 61

The Supreme Court has delivered its judgment in the case of Gohil v Gohil, which it heard at the same time as Sharland v Sharland, a case also dealing with non-disclosure and whether or not the duped spouse has the right to reopen their claim.

Full post: UK Supreme Court Blog

High Court Judges have no magic wand

In Re D (Children) 2015 , Mr Justice Holman made some very important observations about the importance of judicial continuity, particularly in cases where there are intractable difficulties about contact.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Amended exceptional case funding guidance

Amended Guidance on exceptional legal aid (s10 LASPO) has been published here.

Full post: Pink Tape

Amendments to the Family Procedure Rules 2010

Amendments to the Family Procedure Rules 2010 will come into force on the 7 December 2015 and 1 January 2016 by virtue of the Family Procedure (Amendment No. 3) Rules 2015, together with two new Practice Directions.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Abuse by foster parents – can the Local Authority be sued?

NA v Nottingham County Council 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Obtaining an expert report without court permission

MB (Expert’s Court Report) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Domestic Violence Injunctions – good practice reminder

I had to go back to the Red Book this week to check something about non-molestation orders and I came across this case, which I have read before, but which is well worth a reminder.

Full post: Pink Tape

A lesson in how not to conduct yourself

Veluppillai v Veluppillai & Others.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Court of Appeal – section 20 abuse

Re N (Children: Adoption : Jurisdiction) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Radicalism and the Family Courts

Remember the three girls from Bethnal Green Academy, who in February slipped through Gatwick security to join so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)?

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Surge in non-molestation orders since LASPO

Has the so-called 'domestic violence gateway' to legal aid introduced when legal aid was abolished for most private law family matters led to the system being abused by those in need of legal aid?

Full post: Family Lore

Transparency in the Family Court: judge allows publication of article about children in care

Tickle v Council of the Borough of North Tyneside and others [2015] EWHC 2991 (Fam) (19 October 2015).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Court of Appeal castigates judge’s conclusion on deprivation of liberty

KW (by her litigation friend) and others v Rochdale Council (Court of Appeal) [2015] EWCA Civ 1054.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Fast and the Furious – Tunbridge Wells Drift

Medway Council v M &T 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

We’ve gone on holiday by mistake

Re M (Children) No 2  2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A little free advice

Lucy says no more pro bono or unpaid “stuff” for a while.

Full post: Pink Tape

Application to set aside a familyproceedings order - a procedural guide

Some preliminary thoughts in the form of a rough procedural guide on setting aside a financial order in family proceedings after Sharland & Gohil.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

What Do Sharland & Gohil Mean For Me?

This is a guest post written by the super Zoe Saunders, who has saved me the trouble of having to digest the judgments of the Supreme Court in Sharland v Sharland [2015] UKSC 60 and Gohil v Gohil [2015] UKSC 61.

Full post : Pink Tape

Supreme Court allows appeals in Sharland and Gohil

The Supreme Court has allowed both wives’ appeals in Sharland v Sharland [2015] UKSC 60 and Gohil v Gohil [2015] UKSC 61.

Full post: Family Law Blog

…and a small voice in me wept for justice

The most recent addition to the Family Division bench McDonald J could be heard uttering – in H v A (No2) [2015] EWHC 2630 (Fam), McDonald J (17 September 2015) – the following (and, as I read it, a small voice in me wept for justice).

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Court of Protection upholds the right of a confused, lonely man to refuse treatment

Wye Valley NHS Trust v B (Rev 1) [2015] EWCOP 60 (28 September 2015).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Unlawful removal of a child, compensation paid

Re AS (unlawful removal of a child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

I am sailing, I am sailing – judicial recusal

Mackay v Mackay 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Court proceedings were a shambles

In the case of Re K-L (Children) 2015, the Court of Appeal had to unpick an appeal centred around a judgment of Her Honour Judge Lyon after a finding of fact hearing in care proceedings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Vulnerable Individuals And Children In Family Proceedings

This response to the Ministry of Justice draft consultation on amendments to Family Procedure Rules 2010 in relation to children and vulnerable individuals (‘the draft’) is prepared by David Burrows.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Sticks and stones…

Domestic violence is now widely understood to encompass more than punches, and to affect both men and women.

Full post: Pink Tape

Parents’ wish to treat child’s cancer with Chinese medicine overruled by Family Court

JM (a child), Re [2015] EWHC 2832 (Fam), 7 October 2015.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Parents found innocent of child abuse after their baby was removed and adopted – an explanation

This case has been much reported in the press over the last 48 hours or so. I have been asked specifically to write about it via twitter, so here is a bit of context to help people understand what it’s all about.

Full post: Pink Tape

Missing boy and cancer treatment

Re JM (a child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Does Article 8 survive adoption?

There has been further consideration of potential post-adoption Article 8 rights for natural parents in a judgment by Peter Jackson J in the case of Seddon v Oldham MBC.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Section 76 and the Serious Crime Act on Radio Suffolk

Section 76 deals with ‘Controlling or coercive behaviour in an intimate or family relationship’, defining such activity for the first time as illegal.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Adoption and immigration

FAS v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Bradford MBC 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

NRA and Others 2015 (the Charles J DoLS case)

This is Charles J’s decision in a group of linked cases designed to test whether in a case where a vulnerable person’s liberty is being deprived as a result of their care package, that person HAS to be represented.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

You wouldn’t ask a restaurant critic to write the review without tasting the food

Judith Masson has just published her research on judicial feedback – it’s a very readable piece of research and has a lot of interesting nuggets within it.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The pitfalls of surrogacy arrangements

Natasha Slabas highlights deficiencies in the law relating to surrogacy and the need for reform.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Family court power to order interim sale & end occupation of family home

Can the family court order the family home, or indeed any other family property, to be sold (with vacant possession given on sale) and the proceeds distributed on an interim basis before the final financial settlement?

Full post: DavidHodson.com

Threshold again

Threshold threshold threshold….

Full post: Pink Tape

An unmusical Mozart – a patient’s right to say no to surgery

The Court of Protection dealt with a challenging case in Wye Valley NHS Trust v B 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

No winners here only losers

The Court of Appeal dealt with an intractable contact case in Re Q  a child 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Re X- the never-ending story

Charles J has today (25 September) handed down the judgment in Re NRA [2015] EWCOP 59, sometimes described as Re X (2).

Full post: Court of Protection Handbook

The Right Principles; But Not Necessarily In The Right Order

… Or why ancillary relief proceedings must be public.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Intermediary, fair trial and Legal Aid Agency

The High Court case of West Sussex CC v H and Others 2015 throws up an interesting issue.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Concurrent affairs

Re T (a child: Early Permanence Placement) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Mostyn J And The Open Justice Principle

A judicial view on open justice and ancillary relief proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Fact Finding: Legal Summary by DJ Simmonds & HHJ Hess

I am very grateful to DJ Simmonds at the Central Family Court who has collaborated with HHJ Hess to produce a handy summary of the law on fact finding hearings and they have kindly agreed that I can share it.

Full post: Family Law Week blog

Re DAD (application for committal, flawed process)

If you are doing a committal case, either for or against, this case will be worth reading and taking with you.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

No one has the right to expect the State to make them better parents

Kent County Council v G & others [2005] UKHL 68 involved an appeal by a local authority on a matter of principle.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Bad week for Gloucestershire continues to get worse

C1 and C2 (Children :Section 20 of the Children Act) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Couple win damages for Hackney keeping their children in care

Williams and Another v London Borough of Hackney.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

International considerations in public law cases

Considering the rapid increase of public law cases with an international element, Carolina Marín Pedreños, a partner at Dawson Cornwell, says the decision in Re CB highlights the importance of taking into consideration the nationality of the parties in family cases.

Full post: Family Law Blog

The importance of privacy in ancillary relief proceedings – High Court

DL v SL [2015] EWHC 2621 (Fam) 27 July 2015 (Mostyn J).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

And I’m all outta bubblegum

Gloucestershire CC and M 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Parents consenting to adoption within care proceedings

Re C (A child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

IVF and declarations of paternity – major cock-ups in IVF clinics

A and Others (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008)  2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Can a single person apply for a Parental Order in a surrogacy situation?

Re Z (A child : Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 : Parental Order) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Removal of a child from prospective adopter

RY v Southend Borough Council 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A look inside the Family Solutions Court

Marilyn Stowe is given a tour of the Family Solutions Court by His Honour Judge John Altman, the principal architect of the project.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Costs in family law: formulas vs flexibility

In today’s edition of The Times, veteran solicitor Maggie Rae explores the sometimes contentious issue of costs in family law cases.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

A new facet of child protection: London Borough of Tower Hamlets v B

London Borough of Tower Hamlets v B [2015] EWHC 2491 (Fam)- Heydon J.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Litigants in person costs awards

It’s a little known thing that under rule 46.5 of the Civil Procedure Rules (which do apply to family proceedings – see FPR 28.2) the court may award a litigant in person their costs.

Full post: Pink Tape

Court’s power to get an expert report for free

Re RS 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Care proceedings can be retrospectively validated

Re D (Children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

ISIL child brides: a big care problem for the Family Court?

London Borough Tower of Hamlets v B [2015] EWHC 2491 (Fam) 21 August 2015.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

The case of a Judge, a barrister, some bad weather and the right to that fundamental thing: A FAIR HEARING

Re G (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 834.

Full post: The World Of Family Law

appeal – no contact, section 91(14) and judicial conciliation

Re T (A child) (Suspension of Contact) (Section 91(14) 2015 has some peculiar quirks, and one point which is probably important.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Our love affair with recitals

I recall, some years ago, being challenged by the legal adviser at a Family Proceedings Court (as they then were) to cite the statutory source of the power to use recital.

Full post: Pink Tape

Protecting Vulnerable Parties And Witnesses In Court

In ‘Safeguarding measures, intermediaries and vulnerable witnesses: foot notes from the trenches’ Gillian Geddes discusses the proposed changes to Family Procedure Rules 2010.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Clarity First: Dear Transparency Project…

David Burrows suggests that family lawyers look around at the kitchen into which the press and public are being so earnestly invited.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Adoption: the EU angle

My eye was caught this week by the publication of a judgement in an adoption dispute which had made its uncertain way all the way to the Court of Appeal.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Cross-petitions: A rule-makers' controversy

David Burrows asks: Does a respondent to a divorce petition still have the right to file an answer with cross-prayer to a divorce petition?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Revocation of adoption order

In this case, Pauffley J had to decide whether to revoke an adoption order that was made in 2004.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Birch: Power to vary a financial relief undertaking

In Birch v Birch [2015] EWCA Civ 833 the Court of Appeal considered the sometimes troubled area of matrimonial finance undertakings in court orders.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Re-e-wind, when the crowd say Bo Selecta!

This case is Re M, not Re E, but is a case where the Court made a decision to re-e-wind the care proceedings.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Payne v Payne - The Long Goodbye Continues

As someone whose life is unduly preoccupied with thinking about relocation law, I find it fascinating that the English courts cannot bring themselves to say, in straightforward terms, what we on the sidelines have known for so long - Payne v Payne has had its day.

Full post: Legal Liberal

Consultation on new FPR 2010, Pt 3A—vulnerable witnesses and children

The Family Procedure Rules Committee has made recommendations arising from the final report of the Vulnerable Witnesses & Children Working Group.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Family judges leave the legal aid fight to the admin court

The Family Division seems to have given up on the real fight for legal aid (with the noble exception of HHJ Bellamy sitting as a High Court J.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Strategy meetings

Re L  (application to withdraw ) (Head injuries : Unknown cause) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Contested adoption – Return of a child to parents

Re W (Adoption- Reunification) [2015] EWHC 2039 (Fam) (22 July 2015) is an extraordinary decision of Ms Justice Russell.

Full post: Pink Tape

Shoe-throwing and Interim Care Order

Re W-J (children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Physical chastisement – Court of Appeal

Re L-K 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Syria, children and electronic tagging

Re X (children) and Y (children) (Emergency Protection Orders) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Re D: Relieving the child from the maelstrom of his parents' destructive relationship

A brief note upon Re D (A Child) [2015] EWCA Civ 829, a father's appeal against an order refusing him contact with his six year old son.

Full post: Family Lore

“Just glanced?” Court of Appeal find Judge to have been unfair

Re G (child) 2015 was an appeal from a finding of fact hearing in private law proceedings conducted (perhaps that ought to be in inverted commas) by Her Honour Judge Pearl.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Uncertainty in the application of pre-nuptial agreements

Hannah Mabbutt, solicitor in the family team at Kingsley Napley LLP, offers a comprehensive overview of WW v HW and explains that the case demonstrates a need for further clarity in pre-nuptial agreements.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Sibling rivalry

In Re P (A child) 2015, His Honour Judge Wood had to deal with an application for a Care Order for a girl who was sixteen years and four months old.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Private law, infinite appeals and IT naughtiness

The case of Re N (Children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Genuinely shocking

The Court of Appeal in Re A-S (children) 2015 had to deal with an appeal, the facts of which were genuinely shocking to me.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Family Law: Legal Aid for the vulnerable, big money case management

Exceptional case funding for the vulnerable and a ‘statement’ for high net worth cases.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

The great legal aid caper

Lucy Reed writes for the New Statesman.

Full post: Pink Tape

IS v Director of Legal Services 2015

Many other people will be writing about this case, but I’ll just give the bit for the family lawyers and Court of Protection lawyers (since it touches on capacity cases).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Irn Brouhaha

Re M 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Not being allowed to see an expert report

NCC v AH and DH 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

'Extensions' to legal aid scheme for domestic abuse

Modest amendments to the legal aid scheme come into force on 17 July 2015 under Civil and Criminal Legal Aid (Amendment) Regulations 2015.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Guerroudj v Rymarczyk: Order made under liberty to apply provision upheld

A short note on the Court of Appeal decision Guerroudj v Rymarczyk [2015] EWCA Civ 743.

Full post: Family Lore

Fact-finding hearings and child contact cases

Teertha Gupta QC of 4 Paper Buildings discusses Re A (A child: Wardship: Fact Finding: Domestic Violence), the shift in how and when fact-finding hearings are carried out, cultural issues in children cases, and the requirements of Practice Direction 12J.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Deprivation mmmmeltdown

The case of MOD & Others (Deprivation of Liberty) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The Supreme Court ignore my new Act

R (on the application of Cornwall Council) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

contact handover at Manchester airport

Re P (A child :Enforcement of contact order) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A witness talking over the lunch adjournment

JE (Husband) v ZK (wife) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Della was his secretary, Drake’s sat on the desk with Perry

Wirral Borough Council v KR.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Local Authority, go and sit in the naughty corner

TM and TJ (children : Care Orders) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Mother and solicitor sitting in a tree…

This is a case called Re K v D (Parental Conflict) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Anonymity for victim of child sexual abuse/exploitation

Birmingham City Council and Riaz 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Discharge of care order (IRO takes a kicking)

Re X (Discharge of Care Order) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Care arrangements for severely autistic man did not deprive him of his liberty

Bournemouth Borough Council v PS and another [2015] EWCOP.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Opposed adoption – outcome is child being placed with grandparents

Re LG (a child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

When journalists ignore source material it is public debate which pays the price

Lucy Reed considers an article that Christopher Booker wrote in The Telegraph, regarding the Minnock case.

Full post: Pink Tape

The impact of contact on domestic abuse victims

Family analysis: How will the court approach an application for contact in a case involving allegations of domestic abuse? Ella Calnan, barrister at Fourteen, considers the issues raised in the recent case of Re A.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Adoption and American immigration

Re S and T (children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A short rant….and….breathe!

The Family Court is easy to criticise, but how would you improve it? Asks Lucy Reed.

Full post: Pink Tape

You can run but you can’t hide

The sad case of Rebecca Minnock has provided manufacturers of stilts for nonsense with a bonanza couple of weeks.

Full post: Pink Tape

composite threshold – a living example

OCC v B and T 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

adoption and payments

A and Another v Local Authority 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Social Work, the Courts and the Consequences of Transparency

UNISON have published the results of a survey of around 1000 of their social worker members, the results of which are striking.

Full post: Pink Tape

Re X – the Court of Appeal pronounces

The vexed question as to whether P needs to be a party to proceedings for authorisation of deprivation of liberty has now been answered, although not in the fashion that we might have expected.

Full post: Court of Protection Handbook

Maintenance for life?

Recent decisions of the High Court and Court of Appeal have focused on periodical payments orders, considering whether spousal maintenance orders should be made, for how much, and for how long.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Rethinking Child Protection Strategy

Researchers from Bristol Law School at the University of the West of England are releasing the first Evidence Briefing to Ministers today from an ESRC funded project entitled ‘Rethinking Child Protection Strategy’.

Full post: Pink Tape

Assessment of domestic violence should not be culture sensitive

This recent domestic violence case involving a child and the comments made by Mrs Justice Pauffley have been exciting the interest of both the media those agencies involved in child protection, such as the NSPCC.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Someone had blunder’d

Re J (A child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“I know it when I see it” – deprivation of liberty

Bournemouth Borough Council v PS 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Immigrants who beat their children should get special treatment”

Re A (A child: Wardship) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Experts and fairness

The Court of Appeal decision in Re C (a child) 2015 raises a number of important practice points.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Convention compliance of legal aid exceptional case determination

Lord Chancellor’s Guidance on exceptional case funding.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Stress-testing Schedule 3: cross-border placements and the Court of Protection

In Re PA, PB and PC [2015] EWCOP 38, Baker J has conducted a detailed analysis of the jurisdiction of the Court of Protection to recognise and enforce foreign protective measures under Schedule 3 to the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Surrogacy agreement breakdowns–what are the issues?

Are new laws needed to cover surrogacy arrangements and modern family set-ups?

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Medway case part 2 – a lot of practice issues

Following on from the last blog – I don’t often split case discussions, but in this one I felt that the issues over the foster carer and recording was worth a piece on its own.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Tape recording paying off

Medway Council v A and Others (Learning Disability: Foster Placement) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Smokey and the Bandit – “boy adopted due to smoky house”

This story appeared in the Guardian yesterday.  Two year old boy from smoky house to be placed for adoption.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Unlawfully obtained documents: A new look

In Arbili v Arbili [2015] EWCA Civ 542 a lawyer’s duties in relation to documents unlawfully obtained by a client was looked at afresh by the Court of Appeal.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Cross-border divorce and maintenance—Lithuania

I recently attended a useful workshop in Vilnius, Lithuania, run by the Academy of European Law.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Fair family hearings – according to the Court of Appeal

Lord Dyson for the Court of Appeal has recently reversed the decision of HHJ Bellamy (see my post here) who had ordered legal aid to help an unrepresented father in family proceedings.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Challenging a consent order

Re CS v ACS and Another 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Composite threshold documents – in which, a tightrope is walked

East Sussex County Council v BH and Others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Subdural haemorrhages—a way out?

Cases involving subdural haemorrhages are notoriously difficult to defend and, quite frankly, to understand, but as the proud recipient of a ‘C’ at A-level Biology, I can’t think of anyone more qualified to write about such a thing.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Who has the burden of proof?

The case of Re N (A Child: Interim Care Order) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Human Rights Act and family law: Reform, repeal or replace

Human Rights Act 1998 and its incorporation of most of European Convention 1950 into English law has become a fundamental aspect of the English and Scottish constitutional framework.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Legal aid: Committal proceedings in the family courts

The two cases considered here say as much about the obscurity – even the injustice of that obscurity – of legal aid provision, as they do about grant of legal aid for committal applications in civil (including family) proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

No court funding of advocate to help the judge

Public funding of advocate to the court: not permitted in children proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

An argument about publication of a judgment

Wigan Borough Council v Fisher and Others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Proof of facts – High Court guidance on disputed injuries

BR (Proof of Facts) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Your Honour, I am afraid that I have not done a position statement, but may I just hand this up?

Newcastle City Council v WM and Others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Special contributions: outdated and unfair?

Marilyn Stowe looks at the special contributions argument.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Removal from grandparents under Interim Care Order

Re T (Children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Costs argument between Official Solicitor and Mail on Sunday

The Court of Appeal dealt with an appeal arising from a costs order made by the President in the Re G case.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

MN (adult) 2015 – Court of Appeal pronouncements

Re MN (an adult) 2015 is a Court of Protection case, heard in the Court of Appeal, which spends nearly half of its length talking about care proceedings, housing and practice directions.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Duties of a cash-strapped public authority

A public authority bears responsibilities to the court in litigation because it is a public authority.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Leave to revoke a Placement Order – further assessment

LA v FM & MA and Others (Application to revoke Placement Order) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

P v P: CoA uphold variation of post-nuptial settlement

A quick look at P v P [2015] EWCA Civ 447, which was decided yesterday. The case contains no new law, but is of interest nevertheless.

Full post: Family Lore

Breastfeeding mother versus gay couple

Re H v S (surrogacy agreement) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

When the Rules break the rules: appeals against pension sharing

Andrzej Bojarski thinks he has found another ultra vires anomaly in FPR PD30A.

Full post: Andrzej Bojarski Blog

Case Comment: In the matter of S (a Child) [2015] UKSC 20

The Supreme Court in Re S (A Child) [2015] UKSC 20 has allowed the local authority’s appeal against a costs order made by the Court of Appeal in favour of the Respondent Father.

Full post: UKSC blog

Angola – gross, inexplicable and unjustifiable delay

Re N (Children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Is the system failing parents?

Unlike most newspaper headlines that pose a question, to which the answer turns out to be “no”, this particular article from the Guardian ends up with the answer “yes”, and I would agree with it.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Ignorance of the procedure is no excuse

Re D (Children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Appeal, Special Guardianship Order to a stranger

The Court of Appeal in Re H (a child) 2015 considered the decision to make a Special Guardianship Order to a woman who knew the mother through church as opposed to placing the child with the father.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Poppi Worthington

Cumbria County Council v M and F (Application for rehearing) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

And we can throw in a word like “circumcision” / cos we ain’t going in for Eurovision

In Re W (Children) 2015, the Court of Appeal had to deal with an appeal arising from a refusal to grant a parent leave to oppose the making of an adoption order.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

No broad presumption in favour of a natural parent

The Court of Appeal in Re E-R (A child) 2015 had to deal with a very emotionally difficult case.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Case Comment: Wyatt v Vince [2015] UKSC 14

The Supreme Court has delivered its judgment in Vince v Wyatt and appears to have sent the public into a frenzy (those that are on Twitter anyway)!

Full post: UKSC blog

New Guidance for Appeals

Paragraphs 19 and 20 of PD52C in respect of appeals to the Court of Appeal have been amended w.e.f. 6 April 2015.

Full post: Pink Tape

Are pro bono lawyers playing the Government’s game?

In 2013, as we all know, the Government abolished legal aid for many types of family law matters.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

A heartbreaking case of staggering genius

Gray v Work 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Sir, you are vexing me!

Lucy Reed examines the use of civil restraint orders by the family court.

Full post: Pink Tape

New Practice Directions out now!

The Practice Directions supporting the new Court of Protection Rules have been published now.

Full post: Court of Protection Handbook

LiPs do it for longer – should we believe the bumper sticker?

After the recent Panorama documentary “DIY Justice” people started tweeting under the hashtag #diyjustice that “Litigant in person cases take 50% longer than those with legal professionals involved”, and other variations on the theme that litigants in person are “clogging up the courts”.

Full post: Pink Tape

Children travelling to join ISIS

Tower Hamlets v M and Others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Gilded cage – junior edition

Re D (A Child :Deprivation of liberty) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Only just over the threshold

Leeds City Council v M and others 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The cost of reducing access to legal aid

Family analysis: What can be learned from the Justice Select Committee’s report into the impact of the reforms to civil legal aid?

Full post: Family Law Blog

Of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses, and children

Hearing from children and vulnerable witnesses in the family courts: working group.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Bodey and DoLs

W City Council v Mrs L 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Transparency in the Court of Protection: press should be allowed names

The Court of Protection has clarified the position on revealing the identity of an incapacitated adult where reporting restrictions apply.


Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Adoption – here we go again?

Re J (A child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The ‘were babies murdered’ case

P and Q (Children : Care Proceedings: Fact finding) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, Practice Direction 27a and ‘the Delinquents’

All Family practitioners should now be familiar with the case of, In the matter of L (A Child) 2015 EWFC 15.

Full post: The World Of Family Law

Reporting restriction orders and anonymisation

A Healthcare NHS Trust and P 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Adoption of an adult

FAS v Bradford MDC 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Mostyn Powers

Rochdale v KW 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Missing child – left in police station

London Borough of Brent and K 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Law Commission insight on the enforcement of family financial orders

Professor Elizabeth Cooke and Spencer Clarke introduce the Law Commission’s project on the enforcement of family financial orders and ask for responses to the consultation paper.

Full post: Family Law Blog

A private funding allowance in children proceedings

In MG & JG v JF [2015] EWHC 564 (Fam) after a judicial catalogue of complaints about lack of legal aid, Mostyn J made an order in proceedings under Children Act 1989 s 8 that a father should pay a funding allowance to the mother of a child.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Wyatt v Vince—hard cases make bad law?

Family lawyers always take a great deal of interest in the comparatively small number of family cases that reach the Supreme Court.

Full post: Family Law Blog

The LASPO safety net is a fig leaf

MG and JG v JF 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Wasted costs

HU v SU 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Child giving evidence

Re R (children) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Oedipus Wrecks

Re B v C (Surrogacy : Adoption) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Flawed placement order application

When you call a case  RE EF (flawed Placement Order application) 2015, you are laying down a marker that this is going to be a judgment that makes criticisms.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Failed attempt to revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney

As Senior Judge Lush remarks at the beginning of Re DT (2015) it is fairly unusual to dismiss the application of the Public Guardian to revoke an Enduring Power of Attorney.

Full post:  suesspiciousminds

Bunch of fools(cap)

This week we have Presidential bundle rage in the form of Re L.

Full post: Pink Tape

Foolscap on the hill

Re L (A child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Few pension sharing orders: let’s blame the lawyers?

Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) Steve Webb, had a few things to say about pensions recently. Some of them were aimed at divorce lawyers.

Full post: Family Law Blog

President of Family Division inveighs against social engineering in adoption proceedings

In a scathing judgment, the president of the Family Division has condemned as “social engineering” a local authority’s application to remove a baby boy permanently from the care of his father and place him for adoption.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Leave to revoke a Placement Order, successful appeal

Re G (a child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

High Court reaches 50:50 split decision

Leading financial judge Mr Justice Mostyn QC considered the issues of non-matrimonial wealth via inheritance, as well as wealth accumulated post-separation, in a newly published judgement.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Family Court: Shreds And Patches To A New Rule Of Clarity And Family Law

As I go away for a week’s holiday I record a matter of real sadness to me: the lack of clarity and any underlying philosophy about where family law is going.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

A Simple Law For Privacy In Children Cases

MX v Dartford & Gravesham NHS Trust & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 96 should be required reading for every court dealing with children proceedings; and many other forms of family proceedings as well.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Tales of the unexpected

Mr Justice Mostyn, in dealing with an application for leave to oppose the making of an adoption order, raised a curious (and to my mind rather unique) point.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Show Me The Primary Evidence

There are very real practical difficulties with the use of audio recordings in family proceedings.

Full post: Pink Tape

A tottering edifice built on inadequate foundations

The President’s decision in Re A (a child) 2015 in which the Court were asked to make a Care Order and Placement Order on a child who was not quite a year old, and refused to do so – even more significantly finding that the threshold criteria for making such orders were not made out, and castigating professionals for sloppy thinking and lack of rigour in their analysis of significant harm.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Online dispute resolution: Can it work for family?

The expressed aim of the report, Online Dispute Resolution for low value civil claims by the Online Dispute Resolution Advisory Group is to broaden access to justice and seek to resolve small scale (up to £25,000) disputes more easily, quickly and cheaply.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Legal aid in domestic violence cases: civil law vs. LASPO 2012

Is the domestic violence evidence gateway in the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 ultra vires the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012?

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Irremediably Broken Marriage, But No Divorce

The Court of Appeal in Lindner v Rawlins [2015] EWCA Civ 61.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

DNA sample taken for criminal purposes may not be used for paternity test

The Court of Appeal has ruled that it would not be lawful for DNA originally collected by the police to be used by a local authority for the purposes of a paternity test.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Looks like I picked a bad day to give up not being a veracity assessor

Wigan BC v M (veracity assessments) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

'Not to be listed before Mr Justice Mostyn'

Judgment in Mann v Mann [2014] EWCA Civ 1674 in the Court of Appeal is dated 19 December 2014; but it is only in the last few days that it has had special press attention.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

A 'hostile' Mr Justice Mostyn, Mr Downe and litigants in person

The irritation of Mr Justice Mostyn in general, with litigants in person, and with a Mr Downe in particular, reverberates from his judgement in Bakir v Downe.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Family legal aid and funding: January 2015

A fresh batch of legal aid and funding cases has appeared since mid-December last year; and of these the news is that the much publicised (by the President of the Family Division) parents in Re D (A Child), have a legal aid certificate.

Full post: ICLR

Unfortunate and woeful – Local Authority failings

Northamptonshire and DS 2014.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

From Bratislava to Llangefni

The President making a costs order against Capita for failure to provide a Slovak interpreter for a final hearing.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Defying the Court of Protection – is there such a thing as committal in Court of Protection?

MSAM v MMAM 2015 is a Court of Protection case tackling something for the first time.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Sentence first, verdict afterwards

Re S-W children 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

“Lamentable”, “egregious” and “wholly indefensible”: High Court lambasts local authority’s conduct of care proceedings

A Family Division judge has awarded damages under the Human Rights Act against a local authority in what he described as an “unfortunate and woeful case” involving a baby taken into foster care.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Appointment to the bench is not a licence for judges to be gratuitously rude to those appearing before them

The target of this barb was the case management style of HHJ Dodds.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Clarity: The vulnerable and legal aid law

Family courts: the vulnerable and the legal aid swamp.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

What price liberty? Damages, DOLS and a cat named Fluffy

On 7 January 2015 District Judge Mort of the Court of Protection approved a £60,000 settlement agreement reached between Essex County Council and Mr P.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Catch-33: Stringent documentary requirements upheld for legal aid in domestic violence cases

R (on the application of Rights of Women) v Secretary of State for Justice [2015] EWHC 35 (Admin).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Children and parties

RE M (Republic of Ireland) (Child’s objections) (Joinder of children as parties to appeal) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Risks of refusing reasonable offers to settle in divorce cases

The judgment in SR v RS demonstrates that parties cannot, in the face of reasonable offers to settle, continue to litigate matters indefinitely without the spectre of cost sanctions.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

A family law reform manifesto

With a hundred days to go to an election, my top ten list for law reform (mostly family) would be as follows.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Mother allowed to move to Russia under the Hague Convention 1996

The mother of a two year-old boy has been allowed to move back to Russia against the wishes of the father.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Fifty-fifty – equal parenting time

As far as I know, Re M (A Child) 2014 is the first time the Court of Appeal have dealt with a case involving equal parenting time since the Children and Families Act with its controversial clause came into being.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Assigning jurisdiction in child abduction cases

The European Court of Justice has given a preliminary ruling on assigning jurisdiction to a specialist court to consider a child abduction case even though another court in the same member state was already seised in parental responsibility proceedings.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Working with mediators

As family practitioners are aware it is now compulsory for the majority of clients to attempt to mediate prior to issuing a court application.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Inherent jurisdiction of High Court

UL v BK (Freezing Orders: Safeguards: Standard Examples) [2013] UKHC 1735 (Fam).

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Unrepresented parents in family cases: are errors going unnoticed?

Is a lack of legal representation in family cases increasing the likelihood of procedural errors going unnoticed?

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

FGM – an important authority

Re B and G (Children ) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A whole heap of trouble (secure accommodation)

London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 2014.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Munby: Listen to the individuals affected

It is time to take stock in the ‘transparency’ debate and to review a couple of eloquent comments in [2014] Family Law: a Comment from Peggy Ray (a child law solicitor) at 1655 and an article by Dr Julia Brophy, a ‘Principal Researcher in Family Justice’.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

I AM calm!

I have learnt that it is usually a good idea to sleep on it after reading a Christopher Booker article, and not to write in anger.

Full post: Pink Tape

Fair criticism?

Richard Todd QC of 1 Hare Court and Christopher Wagstaffe QC of 29 Bedford Row believe the court failed to address the issues in an appropriate manner in a case where a separating couple had amassed a combined legal bill of £1.3m on all aspects of their dispute (including the children proceedings) following what was described by the judge as ‘titanic litigation’.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Re D (part 2) a damp squid

The President’s judgment in Re D (part 2) is up.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

How to make family hearings fair

Re K and H (Children: unrepresented father: cross-examination of child) [2015] EWFC 1, HHJ Bellamy.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Court service to pay father’s legal costs K& H

Re K and H (children : Unrepresented father : Cross-Examination of a Child) 2015.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Legal aid in 2015—more of the same?

Jon Robins, editor of The Justice Gap, considers what may change for legal aid in 2015.

Full post: Family Law Blog