The digital age dawns: online divorce

I had the pleasure of attending the At A Glance legal conference in London on Wednesday. One of the speakers was Adam Lennon, the Head of Family Modernisation & Improvement at HM Courts and Tribunals Service. He talked about the Court’s plans to roll out an online divorce system.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Grandparents must NEVER be told their daughter had twins

The Daily Mail reported on 20 June that a judge had ruled that “Grandparents must NEVER be told their daughter had twins…as mother plans to give babies away”.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Cowboys of the wild west?

Some context on the influence of fee-charging McKenzie Friends in family law.

Full post: Pink Tape

Can you lose your kids for rejecting an offer of distant accommodation?

Can a judge take away your children because you’ve refused distant accommodation?

Full post: The Transparency Project

Charlie Gard: Strasbourg Court imposes another stay on Supreme Court ruling to consider parents’ arguments

Following the Strasbourg Court’s request for interim measures for the UK – which means the hospital may not take Charlie Gard off life support as the Supreme Court has allowed it to do – the Supreme Court arranged a short hearing to take place Monday 19 June, to give directions.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Charlie Gard – the case for interim measures to preserve life

Here, I will reflect on three questions: Why is the Supreme Court considering the matter again so soon? What is being reported about the arguments that are being advanced? What should the Supreme Court do?

Full post: The Transparency Project

Fasting for Ramadan and Court of Protection

An interesting Court of Protection case which might prove useful for other professionals.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Parental Alienation – an alien concept?

This post is about a case called : B (A 14 Year Old Boy), Re [2017] EWFC B28 (11 May 2017), a decision of His Honour Judge Simon Wood recently published.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Sharing (non)marital money: Sharp v Sharp

When a couple gets divorced, they must split their assets fairly, bearing in mind 3 principles set out by the Supreme Court in two joined cases, Miller v Miller and McFarlane v McFarlane.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Complaint to The Telegraph (another one)

Below is the text of a complaint submitted to The Telegraph today about Mr Booker’s reporting of H (A Child), Re (Interim Care Order : fact finding) [2017] EWHC 518 (Fam), which we don’t think is accurate.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Tip of the iceberg? You don’t say… the McKenzie Friend research

The research commissioned by the Bar Council in to fee paid McKenzie friends has been published today.

Full post: Pink Tape

Fee Paid McKenzie Friends Research

A research study looking at the role played by Fee Paid McKenzie Friends in private law children cases has been published.

Full post: The Transparency Project

The Supreme Court Is Wrong on Charlie Gard and Withdrawal of Treatment

In the matter of Charlie Gard – Permission to appeal hearing.

Full post: The Transparency Project

New CAFCASS Guidance

The Chief Execs of CAFCASS and CAFCASS CYMRU have issued the snappily titled : GUIDANCE FROM THE CHIEF EXECUTIVES OF CAFCASS AND CAFCASS CYMRU ABOUT CHANGES IN USE OF CAFCASS PROFESSIONAL TIME TO BRING MOST BENEFIT TO CHILDREN WITHIN THE RESOURCES AVAILABLE.

Full post: Pink Tape

The legacy of Owens v Owens

One of the most talked about family cases in recent months has undoubtedly been that of Tini and Hugh Owens.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Alternative treatment for seriously ill child not in his best interests

Yates and Anor v Great Ormond Street for Children [2017] EWCA Civ 410, 23 May 2017.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Interviewing a ward of court

The judgment in Re Ward of Court [2017] EWHC 1022 (Fam) answers with a resounding “no”, the question of whether the court’s consent is required before the police can interview a ward of court.

Full post: UK Police Law Blog

Privy Council clarifies rules to determine ownership of property

Last week the Privy Council handed down its judgment in the case Marr v Collie, an appeal from the Court of Appeal of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Re J : Unfair Care Orders Overturned on Appeal

In Re J (Children) [2017] EWCA Civ 398 (23 May 2017) the Court of Appeal allow an appeal from His Honour Judge Tolson QC, overturning care orders that he had made at an Issues Resolution Hearing.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children -v- Gard

The Court of Appeal has decided that the treatment of Charlie Gard can be withdrawn.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Reid ’em and weep

The peculiar goings-on in the case of Westminster v Associated Newspapers Ltd.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Judge flags complaint on behalf of child against journalist who sneaked into hospital

A new judgment by Mr Justice Hayden, in the case of ‘H’, the 15 year old boy at the centre of the Telegraph story we reported on here, was published yesterday.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Meal tickets for life?

An article in The Times on 23 May 2017 headlined ‘Former wives give up chasing “meal ticket for life” in divorce’ (behind paywall) refers to falling numbers of spousal maintenance orders.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Seriously inaccurate reporting by omission of facts

The case of H (A Child), Re (Interim Care Order : fact finding) [2017] EWHC 518 (Fam).

Full post: The Transparency Project

‘Father begs judges to reveal details of his decade-long family court battle with his ex over access to their child’

The Daily Mail today republished a story (under the headline above) about a man in Norwich, that appeared in the Eastern Daily Press yesterday.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Decision to place a child with prospective adopters is unlawful because unfair

R (On the Application Of EL) v Essex County Council [2017] EWHC 1041 (Admin) (08 May 2017) is a judicial review decision about a decision by a local authority to place a child for adoption, under a placement order granted by the Family Court.

Full post: The Transparency Project

A stain on the reputation of the family justice system

A (A Minor : Fact Finding; Unrepresented Party) [2017] EWHC 1195 (Fam) (19 May 2017).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Separating the divorce from the money bit

There have been calls for some time for the divorce bit to be separated from the money bit. Last week the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby issued a further call for such separation – something he has been known to favour for some time.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Strasbourg grapples with international surrogacy and the concept of “family”

The Strasbourg Court ruled earlier this year that the prohibition on commercial surrogacy arrangements did not justify the Italian authorities’ actions in removing a 9 month old child from its non-biological parents and taking him into social care.

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Police investigating drug testing lab that carried out tests for the Family Court

There have been news reports recently about failures at a forensic lab in Manchester, which was used for forensic testing in criminal cases.

Full post: The Transparency Project

“Top Judge threatens to down tools rather than allow victims to be quizzed by abusers in his court”

…Or so we imagine the headlines may run if and when a member of the press reads as far as the bottom few paragraphs of the unassuming A (A Minor : Fact Finding; Unrepresented Party) [2017] EWHC 1195 (Fam) (19 May 2017), a recent judgment of Mr Justice Anthony Hayden.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Is there any public interest in naming divorcing couples?

In The Times last week, family courts were accused of being ‘secretive’ because they do not advertise the names of people who are getting divorced – under the headline ‘Call to end divorce case secrecy‘.

Full post: The Transparency Project

A detailed look at that ‘record’ divorce award case

It may or it may not have involved a record financial award, but there is much to note from the judgment of Mr Justice Haddon-Cave in AAZ v BBZ.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

What to do about ‘parental alienation’: B (change of residence; parental alienation) March 2017

Re B (change of residence; parental alienation) [2017] EWFC B24 is the recently published judgment from a family court decision that a child had been alienated from her father by her mother and should move to live with her father.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Failure to bury a child

Re K (A Child : deceased), Re [2017].

Full post: suesspiciousminds

A response to the open letter from the “Mothers In Law” Blog

On May 8th 2017 the Mothers in Law Blog published ‘An Open Letter to the Transparency Project’.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Accuracy of reporting – not just for journalists

Our recent event, Reporting The Family Courts – Are we doing it justice? has produced a reminder that it is also important to be accurate when we are discussing transparency itself, and the evidence base in this area.

Full post: The Transparency Project

CAFCASS, Contempt, Complaints and Child Protection

This blog post is about a case which provides a useful discussion point around questions of privacy of information in family cases, and what can and can’t be disclosed about them.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Judicial Cooperation with Serious Case Reviews

….There won’t be any (cooperation). Not least because Serious Case Reviews have been abolished with the enactment of the Children and Social Work Act 2017 on 27 April, which will (from a date yet to be fixed) abolish Local Safeguarding Childrens’ Boards and thus, Serious Case Reviews.

Full post: Pink Tape

Adoption – just how final is it? The Re W appeal

We wrote here about this case, involving a little girl “W” who had been made the subject of a placement order, allowing her to be placed for adoption away from her family.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Can a love note prove your innocence?

The Daily Mail report today that : Loving note tucked away in a photo album proved parents accused of almost killing their baby did NOT violently shake her.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Risk assessment of contact after findings of domestic abuse

In MS v MN [2017] EWHC 324 (Fam) Mr Justice Moor allows a mother’s appeal against an order that there should be direct contact between the father and his children, where the court had made quite serious findings of domestic violence against him.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Plea to wait before blaming parents over baby injuries

Last week we wrote about the case of baby Effie, a baby diagnosed with the rare Ehler’s Danloss Syndrome IV, who had been returned to the care of her parents following a family court hearing.

Full post: The Transparency Project

IPSO No-Facto

IPSO have rejected our complaint about Christopher Booker’s 11 March article concerning legal aid in Human Rights Act claims running in family proceedings.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Baby removed from parents over ‘abuse’ is found to have rare bruising condition

News reports are emerging today about a case of suspected non-accidental injury where the child was found to have a rare condition called Ehlers Danloss Syndrome (EDS) that could have accounted for the injuries.

Full post: The Transparency Project

‘Couple awarded anonymity after breaching child contact order’

This was the headline in The Brief (Times legal e-newsletter) today. It relates to this case : Middlesbrough Borough Council v M & Ors [2016] EWFC 71 (08 December 2016)

Full post: The Transparency Project

A simple question…

The Transparency Project ask a simple question of former MP John Hemming. After 3 weeks they are still awaiting the answer.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Christopher Booker’s St George’s Day Myth

The end of the “astonishing story” of Teresa Kirk and the Court of Protection, which we wrote about in February this year, and previously, has turned out to be not quite the end of the story.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children -v- Gard

The tragic case of Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children v Gard was heard in the High Court Family Division last week.

Full post: The Transparency Project

The Children and Social Work Bill

Roger Allen Birch examines children and welfare issues in the context of local authority duties and the potential impact of the Children and Social Work Bill currently being considered by Parliament.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Too Middle Class to be a Good Mum?

Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Grandmother, 53, who refused to help social workers find her three-year-old grandchild is held in prison for two days after council bosses said she was in contempt of court

We said we’d re-visit this February 2017 article from the Daily Mail once we had sight of Peter Jackson J’s judgment of his decision not to commit grandmother Alison Moutiq.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Christopher Booker is puzzled

Christopher Booker is “puzzled” by our “child protection” system, and in particular some things about the Samantha Baldwin case.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Good Work Mr Work – but is it GENIUS Work? Nope.

The case of Work v Gray has been in the news this week, as the Court of Appeal dealt with Mr Work’s attempt to overturn a decision that his wife should get a half share of their fortune.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Re W : a most difficult and concerning case of its type

Re W is a very long judgment. Re W (A Child) [2017] EWHC 829 (Fam) (06 March 2017). This post is but an outline of it and does not cover the details in full.

Full post: The Transparency Project

‘Gross and obvious irregularity’ by a family court judge – LL v the Lord Chancellor

An unusual case from the Court of Appeal was published on BAILII this week, in which a High Court judge was criticised for ‘gross and obvious irregularity’ in dealing with a father in a family hearing and, as a result, the Lord Chancellor (i.e. the Ministry of Justice, not Ms Truss personally) may be liable for damages.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Bone marrow transplants and struck off doctors

SW, Re [2017] EWCOP 7 (12 April 2017).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Samantha Baldwin – another side to a very sad story

The children were found safely last week and today there was a hearing from which further information has emerged. As predicted, there are (at least) two sides to this story, and today some hitherto unheard aspects of the story were summarised by His Honour Judge Lea.

Full post: The Transparency Project

In which MacDonald J asks the question and answers it in paragraph 1 of the judgment

HB v A Local Authority & Another  (Wardship Costs funding order) 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

That’s when I start promising the world to a brand new girl I don’t even know yet

C (A Child), Re (No 2) (Application for Public Interest Immunity) [2017] EWHC 692 (Fam) (31 March 2017).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Police hunt for mother who has abducted her own children – what on earth is going on?

We’ve had a couple of suggestions that we write about the case of Samantha Baldwin and her two sons, because this hit the headlines in the last couple of days, following their disappearance shortly after a Family Court hearing.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Why family law needs reform now (or not)

MP Suella Fernandes has written a plea for wide ranging reform of family law in The Times.

Full post: The Transparency Project

No-fault divorce: 2017

Time to re-think no fault divorce after Owens.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Transparency on Radio 4

Radio 4 covered the topic of transparency last week, following publication of research by Cardiff University about the impact of the 2014 guidance on publication of judgments.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Unreasonable behaviour, unreasonable judges or unreasonable law?

This post is about the decision of the Court of Appeal in Owens v Owens, which has received a lot of media coverage since yesterday when the decision was announced.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Important new research published today on the Transparency Guidance for publication of Family Court judgments

The research, led by Dr Julie Doughty of Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics, examines how the Transparency Guidance on publication of family court judgments  has taken effect since February 2014 and its impact.

Full post: The Transparency Project

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…

A new McKenzie Friend website has been launched this week. It is in my view an excellent illustration of the truth of the proposition that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, whether that knowledge is wielded by a law student or a McKenzie friend of some other flavour.

Full post: Pink Tape

Ilott -v- Mitson: Claims by adult children contesting wills – the law is unsatisfactory

The Supreme Court handed down its judgment in the case of Ilott (Respondent) v The Blue Cross and others (Appellants) [2017] UKSC 17 on 15 March, a case having its roots in the death of the late Mrs Jackson (Mrs Ilott’s mother) some 13 years ago.

Full post: Halsbury's Law Exchange

Now wash your hands

East Sussex v AG (Finding of Fact) 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Offers to settle: HRA damages claims and CPR Part 36 – Part I

In SW & TW (Human Rights Claim: Procedure) (Rev 1) [2017] EWHC 450 (Fam), Cobb J expressed the view obiter – the question was not formally before him – that Human Rights Act 1998 s 8 damages claims alongside care proceedings must be issued under CPR 1998 Pt 8.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Prisons and courts bill: cross-examination of complainant witnesses

This is a guest post written by David Burrows.

Full post: Pink Tape

Prison & Courts Bill – banning cross examination of victims?

I’d intended to post a speedy, pithy summary of what the new Bill says about the “prohibition on cross examination of victims in family courts”, as it has been described.

Full post: Pink Tape

‘The truly pitiful plight of a mother caught up in drug addiction’: Publishing judgments from ‘ordinary’ family court decisions

Before new guidance from February 2014 (the Transparency Guidance), it was extremely rare for a judgment from a ‘routine’ family court case, outside of the High Court, raising no point of particular legal interest, to be placed in the public domain by being published (anonymously) online.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Reports on A and B (Children); and the wider issue of effective social work regulation the case raises

A and B (Children) [2016] EWFC B115 was decided in March 2016 but published in February 2017, alongside Baker J’s July 2016 decision (A and B (Findings against social worker) (Rev 1) [2016]) not to permit the social worker to appeal the original findings of misconduct against her.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Who holds the risk, how risk is assessed and how brave or risk averse those who make decisions for children?

On March 9th 2017, Lord Justice McFarlane delivered the first of the Bridget Lindley OBE Memorial Lectures.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Just add this one to the pile…

The continued mis-reporting of family cases by Christopher Booker.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Consultation by the FMC – Should mediators draft consent orders?

The Family Mediation Council has consulted all bodies conducting mediation on whether, contrary to the present rules governing mediators, we should be allowed to draft consent orders.

Full post: Pink Tape

Jack Russell and lackadaisical assessments

Cheshire East Borough Council v PN & Ors (Flawed Local Authority Assessments) [2017] EWFC 20 (03 March 2017).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill—a radical change for family law?

Hilary Lennox, barrister at 5 St Andrews Hill, considers the Divorce (Financial Provision) Bill [HL] 2016-17, a private member’s bill introduced by Baroness Deech.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Financial remedies and anonymity orders

Family analysis: The recent Court of Appeal judgment in Norman v Norman clarified the law on anonymising reports in financial remedy proceedings.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Legal aid statutory charge Part 3: avoidance and evasion

So far, on the subject of legal aid and the legal aid statutory charge, this series has looked at (1) HRA damages and legal aid: a Pyrrhic exercise; and (2) legal aid statutory charge and care proceedings. The next question is: what are the duties of the solicitor and of barristers towards the legal aid fund?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

“Setting a precedent” – what does it actually mean?

On 27 February 2017 The Telegraph reported on an ongoing appeal in the Court of Appeal by a wealthy wife (Mrs Sharp) in respect of the financial order made following her divorce.

Full story: The Transparency Project

Mrs Norman and the indigestible cherry

This judgment is the decision on Mrs Norman’s appeal against orders made years ago in connection with the financial aspects of her divorce.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Where does the truth lie? Gestmin in the family courts

In Lachaux -v- Lachaux [2017] EWHC 385 (Fam) Mr Justice Mostyn considered the guidance in relation to issues between (it transpired) former husband and wife.

Full post: Pink Tape

Guilty until proven innocent? — Lecture by Professor Jo Delahunty QC

Giving the second of a series of lectures at Gresham College on the difference between crime and family law proceedings, Jo Delahunty QC spoke about the use of expert medical evidence in cases concerning the death or serious injury of a child.

Full post: The Transparency Project

English mother to be reunited with child in Dubai…

This post is about the case of Lachaux v Lachaux [2017] EWHC 385 (Fam), a recent decision by Mr Justice Mostyn.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Legal aid statutory charge and care proceedings

Following on from HRA damages and legal aid: a Pyrrhic exercise?  a narrow question has arisen over whether the Family Court has power to award damages.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Shi-Anne Downer – Press Coverage and Serious Case Review

The publication of the Serious Case Review in the very sad case of Shi-Anne (Keegan) Downer, murdered at 18 months old by her Special Guardian Kandyce Downer, has prompted a fresh round of press coverage of the circumstances of her death.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Keehan as mustard ? Costs order against Lord Chancellor

Re H (A minor) v Northamptonshire CC 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Parental consent not required for section 20 accommodation

Is it a breach of a local authority’s duty under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, and article 8 of the ECHR, to keep children in foster care without their parent’s consent?

Full post: Community Care Blog

When child protection goes wrong – can you claim any financial compensation?

This post follows a recent report of an adult who has taken legal action against a local authority for failures to do their job properly or at all, resulting in harm to that individual.

Full post: The Transparency Project

The Kirklees Case: What’s going on with the Human Rights Act?

What I would like to examine here and briefly, is the recent decision of Cobb J in the recent case involving Kirklees Council CZ (Human Rights Claim: Costs) [2017] EWFC 11 (16 February 2017).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Teresa Kirk and the Court of Protection – the end of an “astonishing story”

The story is that of Teresa Kirk, the 71 year old grandmother “jailed by a secret court” because she refused to comply with the court’s order to return her elderly and mentally incapacitated brother, Manuel Martins, to England from a care home in Portugal in which she had placed him in August 2015.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Online courts: What’s the ‘human’ impact?

The testing of online courts should not simply be about whether the technology works, said Andrew Langdon QC, chairman of the Bar at an event on 16 February hosted by the UCL Judicial Institute, ‘The Case for Online Courts’.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Child’s evidence – Part 2: contact and domestic violence

Child welfare, contact – and a practice direction.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

An unreasonable petition?

There are reports of an unusual case heard in the Court of Appeal recently: a wife appeals against a judge’s refusal to grant her a divorce from her husband because she can’t stand his behaviour any more and says the relationship has broken down irretrievably.

Full story: The Transparency Project

Financial remedy judgments—to anonymise or not to anonymise?

The decision in X v X concerned the issue of anonymisation of a financial remedy judgment in divorce proceedings which had been widely reported in the press. John Stables, barrister at 5RB, considers the implications of this judgment.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Child’s right to be heard: before and after EU withdrawal

In Re S (a Child), through a fog of imprecise chronology and unavailable evidence (or was it uncalled, in the case of the child?), the Court of Appeal were able to allow one ground only of a mother’s appeal.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Human rights, damages and costs – important case

The High Court have given judgment in Re CZ (Human Rights Claim:Costs) 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Enforcement of Family Financial Orders: Iqbal is the perfect example of why reform is needed.

This is a post by Zoe Saunders, barrister at St John’s Chambers about the case of Iqbal v Iqbal [2017] EWCA Civ 19 (25 January 2017).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Brewster : “Shifting (or not) the Supreme Court’s view on marriage”

In the Matter of an Application by Denise Brewster for Judicial Review (Northern Ireland) [2017] UKSC 8.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Mrs Millstone…?

The press has been full with news stories about the case of Mr and Mrs Mills, and although no judgment has yet been published, further details have emerged as the week has worn on.

Full story: The Transparency Project

Keep feeling Vaccination

Re SL (Permission to vaccinate) 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Mrs Norman – the wife who lost her “cloak of anonymity”

We wrote in January about a case reported as a wife losing her fight to keep divorce hearings secret.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Should courts order vaccination against parents’ wishes?

SL (Permission to Vaccinate), Re 2017 EWHC (Fam) EWHC (30 January 2017) [2017] EWHC 125 (Fam).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Domestic violence children contact and a new PD12J

In this note, in an attempt to provide clarity in any debate, I should like to look at the statutory principles in issue,

Full post: dbfamilylaw

The end of Human Rights Act claims for misuse of section 20?

This post is the opinion of Sarah Phillimore about the impact of London Borough of Hackney v Williams & Anor upon claims for damages for breach of human rights in cases where children have been accommodated under section 20 of the Children Act 1989.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Re X – a trade off between privacy and anonymity?

Two judgments have recently been published by Mr Justice Bodey in a financial remedy case. The case is interesting in terms of the law around financial remedies, and from a transparency perspective.

Full post: The Transparency Project

On-line divorce scheme: an update…

Users to be recruited for on-line divorce system.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

The Daily Mail’s Court of Protection explainer : “What is the Court of Protection?”

The “explainer” does not explain very much about the Court, contains many inaccuracies, and omits information which would give the public a better understanding of its work.

Full post: The Transparency Project

X v X: special contributions and discounted share values (part 2)

In part two of this extended look at the implications of the recent X v X case, Julian explores the husband’s claims in court.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

Coercing the obdurate (and other exercises in futility)…

We have previously written about the case of MM (an incapacitated adult living in Portugal in a care home) and Mrs Kirk, who was imprisoned for refusing to assist the court with his return to be cared for back in Devon where he had previously been living.

Full post: The Transparency Project

On-line divorce scheme

As the debate on the EU withdrawal bill rages in the House of Commons I reflect on the latest practice direction to be added to Family Procedure Rules 2010, namely FPR 2010 PD36D – Pilot Scheme: procedure for using an online system to generate applications in certain proceedings for a matrimonial order.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Transgender v ultra-Orthodox Jewish community?

The press widely report the decision of Mr Justice Peter Jackson in a very sad and difficult case involving an ultra-orthodox Jewish (Charedi) family, where the father left the community to become a transgender woman, and has not seen her five children since.

Full post: The Transparency Project

A feast of legal issues: the X v X divorce (part 1)

In the first of a special two part feature, Stowe Family Law Managing Partner Julian Hawkhead considers the many issues raised in recent case of X v X.

Full post: Marilyn Stowe Blog

From one extreme to another: media reports on the role of social workers in the death of Poppy Widdison

Two detailed media reports on Poppy’s death took strikingly different positions. The Daily Mail on the 19th January and the Hull local Daily Mail on the 21st.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Dossier claims children unnecessarily removed from parents

We’ll take a walk through the dossier, highlighting interesting or illustrative features as we go.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Das reBoot – Court of Appeal find reverse gear (once again)

London Borough of Hackney v Williams & Anor [2017] EWCA Civ 26 (26 January 2017).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Reasons for judgment

Lord Phillips MP in English v Emery Reimbold & Strick Ltd: ‘while it is perfectly acceptable for reasons to be set out briefly in a judgment, it is the duty of the Judge to produce a judgment that gives a clear explanation for his or her order’. This case and the principles encapsulated in it were recently referred to in Iqbal v Iqbal.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Imaginary judges use imaginary powers to reform imaginary law

Lucy Reed explains what is wrong with a recent newspaper headline.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Domestic violence & family proceedings : Practice direction amendments to protect vulnerable witnesses & children

On 21 January 2017 Sir James Munby published his 16th View from the President’s Chambers ‘Children and vulnerable witnesses – where are we?. This was accompanied by a report from Cobb J. This report includes a redrafted family proceedings practice direction (PD12J: ‘Child arrangements & contact order: domestic violence and harm’,

Full post: The Transparency Project

Transparency in CoP and Family Courts – the President’s view.

On January 23rd 2017, the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection, Sir James Munby, visited the Bristol Civil Justice Centre to have general discussion with local professionals about recent developments for the Court of Protection.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Wife leads – and loses – fight to keep divorce hearings secret

The Times reported earlier this week that a case was about to be heard in which the Court of Appeal was being asked to consider the question of privacy in respect of financial remedy cases and appeals – and that it was thought that the Appeal Judges might issue some guidance to clear up a rumbling dispute about the correct approach to the privacy of ex-couples in this sort of case.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Rock bands, impenetrable vocabulary and Peers of the realm making off with wards of Court

There’s a High Court case that I’m going to briefly write about, called Egeneonu v Egeneonu 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Revised guidance issued on the duration of orders made ex parte (without notice)

The President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has issued guidance on the duration of orders made without notice (ex parte) in family proceedings, revising guidance issued in 2014.

Full post: Family Law Blog

If the Health and Care Professions Council really have found the social workers who lied on oath in ‘the Hampshire case’, NOT to have committed professional misconduct, should they publish this decision?

An important conversation burst out on twitter last night, with the suggestion that the three social workers found by the family court to have lied on oath, may now have been cleared of professional misconduct by the Health and Care Professions Council.

Full post: The Transparency Project

What does open justice actually mean?

The notion that justice must be seen to be done needs little introduction to either a lay or legal audience,  but its familiarity belies an underlying complexity.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Abuse by cross-examination in family courts

Law reform, Women’s Aid and a Parliamentary domestic violence group.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Judge rejects Welsh local authority’s care plan and allows mother to keep her eighth baby

The judgment of His Honour Judge Gareth Jones in Re A (A Child) [2016] EWFC B101 (25 August 2016) was recently published on BAILII.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Bradford Councils claim that it has decided to cut foster care allowances to the government national minimum level to comply with the law rather than principally to reduce costs

Saturday’s local Telegraph and Argus report, (‘Union hits out at Council plans to cut foster carers allowances’) of Bradford City Councils plan to reduce the core child element of their foster care allowances to the government minimum level, triggered twitter confusion about the applicable law and whether anything had changed.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Women’s Aid answer our queries about their evidence base

We have been in dialogue with Women’s Aid about assertions made by them that family courts frequently breach PD12J (practice direction in the Family Courts concerning domestic abuse) by allowing victims to be cross examined by their abusers.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Parliament on d.v. : turns out its not so easy to ask the right questions…

There was an important debate in Parliament today. The government was put on the spot about the scandalous cross examination of victims of rape by the perpetrators of such abuse.

Full post: Pink Tape

“Three sisters whose parents didn’t give them names are taken into care”

This was the headline and sub-header used in the 4th January Mirror report on a published family court judgment from November 2016.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Vulnerable witnesses and children: human rights and legal aid

This article develops some of the ideas touched on in my earlier Vulnerable witnesses, parties and children in family proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Vulnerable witnesses, parties and children in family proceedings

The Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, and her Ministry of Justice have woken up – at last – to the real dangers and hardship created by the present framework of certain family proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Sanctity of life v personal autonomy: Court of Protection

Briggs v Briggs & Ors [2016] EWCOP 53 (20 December 2016).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

A genius from another planet?

The Telegraph reported just before Christmas that: Millionaire seeks greater share in divorce because he is a ‘genius’, prompting court to examine the meaning of the word.

Full post: The Transparency Project