The most secretive court in all of Christendom…

Recent coverage of the placement of a 5 year old Christian girl with a muslim foster family that spoke no English has generated much outrage and media attention this week.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Cafcass response to the Transparency Project comments on their draft revised Framework

On 11 August, the Cafcass policy and communications team emailed us in reply to our comments on their revised framework. We explain what they said below.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Evidence of vulnerable witnesses

Three cases concerning vulnerable witnesses and child law have been reported recently.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Primacy of children’s interests in the publicity debate

Freedom of expression: are children’s interests ‘paramount’?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Mother jailed for contempt could be named despite her young child being involved in anonymised family court proceedings. Why?

This post examines the rules behind contempt of court hearings and — in so far as it’s possible to do so in the absence of a published judgment — explains what seems to have happened in this case.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Religious and cultural identity in foster care

On 28th August 2017 The Times published a story about a white Christian  child ‘forced’ into a (presumably) brown skinned Muslim family.

Full post: The Transparency Project

What we’re thinking: the Family Court Adviser’s article

An anonymous family court adviser (CAFCASS Officer) wrote an article for the Guardian this week: What I’m really thinking: the family court adviser.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Statistics and headlines in legal news: controlling the surges

Dramatic statistics have recently made a headline for the Financial Times (£) on 23 August 2017, which claimed “Family disputes over inheritance surge 36% in 2016”.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Guardian and Child’s Solicitor get strong (and justified) bashing from High Court

Wolverhampton City Council v JA and another 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Some news on transparency

This post is drawn from remarks of The President that have not been published, but The President has confirmed that he is content for them to be publicly reported.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Towards a Family Justice Observatory

Many of us in the family justice system have been saying for a long time that there is an urgent need for better dissemination of research about important issues which guide judicial decision making about children and their futures.

Full post: The Transparency Project

The Everlasting Discussion of Lasting Powers of Attorney

An interview with recently-retired senior judge of the Court of Protection, Denzil Lush, on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme has led to a flurry of comment and discussion this week about the advantages and disadvantages of lasting powers of attorney (in particular for property and affairs) as against deputyship appointed by the Court of Protection.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Cross-examination by alleged abusers; and thoughts for a way through…

Abusive cross-examination: recent case-law.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Child refugees – section 20? Care proceedings? Either?

Re J (child refugees) 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Family Court judge accused of misfeasance in public office by social worker he criticised

The case W (Children) [2017] EWFC 61 (17 August 2017).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Mrs Owens: a divorce in 2017

The concept of “no fault divorce” has gained traction in recent years, but the recent case of Owens v Owens and the image it conjures up of a wife trapped in a loveless marriage has concentrated people’s minds on the issue. As the case heads towards a further appeal hearing in the Supreme Court, David Burrows comments on the prospects for reforming a law to meet its legislators’ true intentions nearly half a century ago.

Full post: ICLR blog

Ostriching and adverse inferences

Where a parent doesn’t engage with assessments and doesn’t provide samples for drug testing, what can the Court do about it?

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Lasting Powers of Attorney in the news – a more detailed explanation

On 15 August the BBC ran a story about powers of attorney arising from comments made by Denzil Lush, who retired from his position as Senior Judge of the Court of Protection last year. This article attempts to clarify and expand on some of the points made and to provide further information about the issues raised.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Rights and an English divorce

Mrs Owens and the Supreme Court.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Can parents publicly petition against care orders?

The answer to the question is yes, in very limited circumstances and where no harm can be shown as likely to the children.

Full post: The Transparency Project

How cash flow modelling can help clients

Rebecca Williams, client director at Brown Shipley, says that cash flow modelling can make all the difference during divorce negotiations when securing the right settlement for your client and helping them to plan new financial goals for their future.

Full post: Family Law Blog

How real are a child’s rights to be heard?

A child’s rights to express a view.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

You can’t have your kayak and eat it

Green v Adams 2017.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Public and private, the limits of transparency in Charlie Gard’s case – an update

This post is an update on the issues considered in the 23 July post about the legal dispute between Great Ormond Street Hospital and the parents of 11 month old Charlie Gard.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Family Law No Island: Legal professional privilege and family law

David Burrows considers the effect of legal professional privilege in the context of advice given by lawyers to those engaged in family law disputes and the circumstances in which the right to confidentiality of such advice may be lifted.

Full post: ICLR Blog

Joint Research : CAFCASS and Women’s Aid

We thought it would be helpful to look further at what this research does and doesn’t cover.

Full post: The Transparency Project

An abysmal situation - care proceedings - the case of X

The case of X (A Child) highlights the lack of clinical, residential and other support services so desperately needed by the increasing numbers of children and young people with mental health problems.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Looking beyond the headlines: domestic abuse allegations in family proceedings

This is a guest post from Dr Sue Whitcombe, a psychologist working with high conflict family breakdown and parental alienation.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Court of Protection

Of all the courts of England and Wales, one of the least understood is the Court of Protection.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Case Comment: Birch v Birch [2017] UKSC 53

Court may hear wife’s application to be released from undertaking to sell former matrimonial home.

Full post: UK Supreme Court Blog

Are there other cases like Charlie’s?

Looking at the report in the Guardian that there have been ten cases like Charlie Gard’s heard in English courts this year.

Full post: The Transparency Project