Care proceedings and diplomatic immunity

A Local Authority v X and Others 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Alfie Evans ~ a profoundly difficult case

The courts are called upon to make difficult decisions touching on all aspects of our human existence but the most profoundly difficult decisions are in those tragic cases where a child is in hospital with an incurable condition. 

Full post: Law and Lawyers

It’s not my job to believe you – here’s why

I had to do the 'it's not my job to believe you' talk to a client recently. I thought it might be a useful topic to discuss on the blog, because it is so often a source of worry and confusion for people unfamiliar with taking advice from a barrister.

Full post: Pink Tape

Journalism, Judges and Justice – a crisis in court reporting?

A report on Open Justice from the Chartered Institute of Journalists warns of “an unprecedented, and sustained, attack on the journalism profession, which has taken a toll on our ability to cover courts, and report on their function”.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Magical sparkle powers, secure accommodation and consent

A Local Authority v SW and Others 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Discrimination in the courts? Waggott v Waggott by Phoebe Turner

In the so-called “meal ticket for life” appeal case of Waggott v Waggott, Kim Waggott, the former wife of William Waggott, lost her joint lives maintenance award and the court rejected the argument that earning capacity is a resource subject to the sharing principle upon the breakdown of marriage.

Full post: Stowe Family Law Blog

Three examples of how not to do family justice

This week involves a trio of disastrous cases where things have gone wrong and judges have explained why.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Litigant’s claim struck out for discussing case during break in giving evidence – a cautionary tale

It’s one of the cardinal rules of court procedure: once you’ve entered the witness box and started to give evidence, you mustn’t discuss the case with anyone outside court, if there’s a break in the proceedings, until you’ve finished giving evidence.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Meal ticket for life bid backfires – or does it?

The Telegraph is one of a number of newspapers to report on the decision of the Court of Appeal to refuse the appeal of Mrs Waggott asking for an increase in her divorce award, and to allow the appeal of Mr Waggot, asking for the duration of her maintenance award to be limited.

Full post: The Transparency Project

“I completely forgot”

P (A Child), Re [2018] EWCA Civ 720 (11 April 2018).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Financial Remedy Court pilots

In January 2018, the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, issued his 18th View from the President’s Chambers, dealing with the launch of the Financial Remedy Court (FRC) pilots and the proposed structure and geography of the FRC.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Why doesn’t the family court punish professionals who break the rules?

What happens when the professionals in family cases – the local authority, social worker or CAFCASS – don’t obey court orders?

Full post: The Transparency Project

Hearing the child in family courts: legal aid and recent cases

A child’s views according to age and maturity.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Hearing the child in family courts

Giving weight to the views of a child in family proceedings.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Sergei And Yulia Skripal And The Court Of Protection

What are a person’s best interests in a decision to permit use of samples of body fluids or tissue for a purpose which is neither of direct therapeutic benefit to the person him or herself, or an act of direct altruism towards another person?

Full post: The Transparency Project

Fit for the future: transforming the court and tribunal estate

The Transparency Project’s response to the MOJ consultation.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Bloomin’ eck! Divorcing fraudster named and shamed but the papers ignore it

Recorder Cusworth has delivered three judgments in this case – although they go back as far as the start of last year, they were only published at the end of the case, once the judge had comprehensively set out all of the lies and frauds that had been exposed and explained why he could not believe a word that Mr Bloom said .

Full post: The Transparency Project

Template Orders – the drafting lawyer’s friend

As Suesspicious Minds has recently pointed out there is a consultation about NEW, IMPROVED template orders. It's only open until 16 April.

Full post: Pink Tape

When Expert Evidence Goes Wrong – the lessons to be learned

C (interim judgment on expert evidence) [2018] EWFC B9 (24 January 2018).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Judge versus Fostering Panel

Re T (A child) 2018  EWCA Civ 650.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Would I lie to you baby, would I lie to you?

Re AB 2016 EWCOP 66.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Why the Court of Protection gave permission for blood samples to be taken in Skripal poisoning case

The case provides an interesting and topical example of the Court of Protection’s work, as well as covering issues of transparency, jurisdiction and the rule of law.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Breach of a court order in family proceedings

In what type of case and for how long should a person be sent to prison?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Q : What happens when you break an order made by the family court? A : Prison, that’s what

There have been a couple of examples of family court judges sending people to prison for deliberately ignoring their orders.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Salisbury Nerve agent attack - Court of Protection decision

On 21st March, in the Court of Protection, Mr Justice Williams made a number of declarations relating to Mr Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, both victims of the Salisbury attack on 4th March.

Full post: Law and Lawyers

Time for constructive divorce

Nigel Shepherd, national head of family law at Mills & Reeve and national chair of Resolution, explains the reasons behind Resolution’s successful application to intervene in the Supreme Court appeal in Owens v Owens, and plans for the no fault divorce campaign going forward.

Full post: Family Law Blog

Judge tells lawyers off for talking over one another in court

In a judgment published on the BAILII website this week, a High Court Judge, Mr Justice MacDonald has criticized barristers involved in a case concerning the contact a 13 year old girl should have with her father, for the way they constantly interrupted one another.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Cringe

A v R & Anor 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Step-parent adoption order set aside where court misled

A father’s appeal out of time was allowed and a step-parent adoption order set aside as a result of deception by the applicants. Nasstassia Hylton, barrister at 1 Garden Court Chambers, considers the decision in Re J (Adoption: Appeal) [2018] EWFC 8 and looks at the serious consequences of giving false information to the courts.

Full post: Family Law Blog

An utterly misconceived application

Re SW (no 2) 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Local Authority unlawfully caring for child for four years (section 20 abuse)

Herefordshire Council v AB 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Use of Police Protection – a guide for social workers

This is intended to be a simple one page guide for social workers as to what to think about when Police Protection is being considered as a route of a child coming into care.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Use of section 20 – a guide for social workers

I thought it might be helpful to share the guidance I prepared for my own social work department with others.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

DAM (I wish I was your lover)

Re DAM (Children) 2018.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

The role of transparency in rebuilding public trust and confidence

As we noted in ‘Transparency Project News’ in July [2017] Fam Law 778, August 2017 is the third anniversary of Sir James Munby’s Transparency – the next steps consultation (still available on the judiciary website).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Crisis in care – crisis in confidence?

In November 2017 Family Rights Group launched an enquiry into the causes of the increasing numbers of children in care and in care proceedings.

Full post: The Transparency Project

On how to pay and indemnify your ex-spouse for mortgage repayments

A tale of a Southampton consent order.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

What’s the difference between an allocation and a transfer?

This post is an attempt to explain a rather technical piece of guidance that was issued yesterday.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Financial relief disclosure: a miscellany of meanings

‘Self-help’ documents: when in law does the duty arise?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Whatever happened to the judiciary’s McKenzie Friends consultation?

In February 2016, the then Lord Chief Justice, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, and the Judicial Executive Board issued a consultation entitled “Reforming the courts’ approach to McKenzie Friends”.

Full post: The Transparency Project

New approach to media cases at the Royal Courts of Justice is a welcome development

In 2012 Mr Justice Tugendhat, ahead of his retirement in 2014, made a plea for more media specialist barristers and solicitors to consider a judicial role: “As the recruiting posters put it: Your country needs you.”

Full post: The Transparency Project

Seriously sick child and distraught parents – where to draw the line

Alder Hey Children’s NHS Foundation Trust v Evans, James and Alfie Evans (a child by his guardian Cafcass Legal) [2018] EWHC 308 (Fam).

Full post: UK Human Rights Blog

Mum wins appeal about her child’s potential adoption but still has to pay her own legal costs – why?

The recent care case of M (A Child) [2018] EWCA Civ 240 (judgment: 20 February 2018) has achieved some notoriety because the mother, who won her appeal, still had to pay her own costs, which may seen unfair to outsiders.

Full post: The Transparency Project

On Her Majesty’s Secret [Court] Service, or ‘Billionaire Putin crony loses right to secrecy in Britain’

“Secrecy in the court system is a growing concern. The press has a duty to uphold the principle of open justice and act as the eyes and ears of the public in the courts. The Times will resist any attempts to erode those principles.”

Full post: The Transparency Project

Supreme Court rules on temporary or defined moves and habitual residence

Michael Gration, barrister, of 4PB, examines the Supreme Court’s decision in Re C (children: anticipatory retention).

Full post: Family Law Blog

Court and tribunal forms are moving to GOV.UK

To make it easier for users to find the forms they need, we’re moving the forms to GOV.UK from 21 March 2018.

Full post: Inside HMCTS

Legal aid and Convention rights in domestic violence committal proceedings

Non-molestation orders and conviction for breach.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Unlawful killing

Re R (Children) 2018: A very peculiar case and one in which leading counsel puts self in harms way in order to demonstrate breach of article 6 and succeed in appeal.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Talk to the hand – I’m not YOUR social worker!

It's an old chestnut, the idea that a social worker is there for the child and NOT the parents.

Full post: Pink Tape

Fact Finding hearings and criminal law

This post is about a new judgment from the Court of Appeal called : R (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 198 (16 February 2018).

Full post: The Transparency Project

Things children say – Disclosure, allegations and why language matters

Earlier this month the NSPCC put out a call on twitter for professionals to respond to a survey they are running as part of the evidence gathering phase of ‘a project to support professionals to take the appropriate action when they have concerns about the safeguarding of children and young people’.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Cafcass ‘tool up’ for children’s voices

‘Voice of the Child: How to help children’s voices be heard loud and clear throughout the family court process‘: This was the title of an Open Board Meeting at Cafcass we attended recently.

Full post: The Transparency Project

The digital revolution…rolling slowly towards us…

I've been meaning to write for a number of months about how I have been getting on with life without paper bundles.

Full post: Pink Tape

Meal tickets for life…again

TP respond to a report in the Daily mail that "Fewer women seek divorce as they fear losing their own cash in the wake of a divorce from a less well-off husband".

Full post: The Transparency Project

Child contact, non-molestation and McKenzie Friends

Re J (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 115 (6 February 2018) raises at least four issues.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

A Fear of Sharia: why the Independent Report is a wasted opportunity

Russell Sandberg, Head of Law and Reader in the School of Law and Politics at Cardiff, is fairly unimpressed with the report of the Independent Review into the Application of Sharia Law in England and Wales.

Full post: Law & Religion UK

Vulnerable Clients and The Family Justice System

Should a disability prevent someone being a good parent? Is vulnerability the same as disability. These and others were the questions discussed by Jo Delahunty QC, in a talk on 1 February.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Hidden transparency

We’ve been waiting, hawk-like, since 2014 for the ‘next steps’ in transparency reform. And when it came we almost missed it, hidden like a tiny rodent camouflaged under a bush.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Pianos and Prisons and Publication of Judgments

On 20 January the Daily Mail headline demanded : ‘Family court judge must explain why pianist jailed, says campaigner’.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Expert evidence about unexplained injuries in child protection cases

On 10 January, the Daily Mail reported about the alarming case of a baby named Teddy, who was removed from his parents’ care when just six-weeks old, and remained away from them for five months while there was investigation into the causes of bruising on his face and body.

Full post: The Transparency Project

EU withdrawal and family law

Notes on speech of Lady Sherlock in House of Lords.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Court of Appeal Overturns Decision Denying Trans Parent Contact With Children

An ultra-Orthodox Jew who left her community to start a new life as a woman has been allowed an appeal by The Court of Appeal.

Full post: Rights Info

Little things sometimes matter (yes I’m a pedant)

Here's a little thing that I think does matter, or might in some cases. The C1A.

Full post: Pink Tape

Words fail me. (But I spend a long time telling you, via words, why)

Re W (fact-finding) [2014] EWHC 4347 (Fam) (17 October 2014).

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Monetary Madness Misreporting

I’m sorry to report that today’s Daily Mail article ‘The tick box divorce: Couples will fill in new ten-page online form detailing money and assets they want under plans to streamline the system’ is (to use a technical legal term) totes nonsense.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Is the law becoming meaner to the poorer spouse?

Polly Morgan considers a suggestion that courts are moving away from equal division of assets on divorce and towards a situation where divorce settlements are becoming meaner to the party who is less wealthy than the other.

Full post: The Transparency Project

All is not well with child protection in North Wales

That’s an intriguing hook for a judgment. It comes from a decision of His Honour Judge Jones, sitting in Prestatyn.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Runaway train, never going back

The British Association of Social Workers, BASW, commissioned an independent report to look at adoption. The report has just been published.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Precedent, or just a law report?

The prompt for this article came from the fact that increasing numbers of judgements are being published by BAILII which can be published; but some of them cannot be cited in court.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Kisses and cuddles not enough…

A belated summary about recent case involving adoption of the children of a learning disabled mother.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Legal aid for domestic abuse: a legislative morass

The more complex the legal aid legislation becomes, the more difficult it is to get help just to explain what it means.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Cafcass, parental alienation and the law

Discussing the Cafcass 'High Conflict Pathway'.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Child’s views and court proceedings

EU Charter of fundamental rights and children.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Learning disabilities – an interesting and sad judgment

A Local Authority v G (Parent with Learning Disability) (Rev 1) [2017] EWFC B94.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

EU Charter of rights and children

A child’s Charter rights which will be lost.

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Who pays for the harm done to children? CN v Poole and the law of negligence

On December 21st 2017, the Court of Appeal handed down its judgment in CN v Poole Borough Council  [2017] EWCA civ 2185.

Full post: The Transparency Project

5 family law myths in the media

Some quarters of the press have behaved so badly recently that passengers are no longer able to buy their wares on Virgin West Coast trains. Unfortunately, the rest of us have to put up with them.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Privacy, the common law and a celebrity divorce

Court divorce papers: how private?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

Medication, ooh, medication, medication – that’s what you need

T (A Child: Care Order: Beyond Parental Control: Deprivation of Liberty: Authority to Administer Medication) [2017] EWFC.

Full post: suesspiciousminds

Protection of public morals: a view from 2018

Protection for the divorcing public; or ‘troublesome irrelevance’?

Full post: dbfamilylaw

“Divorce Day”? Don’t believe the hype…

Like other fixtures in our diaries at this time of year – so-called “Divorce Day” is something which is trotted out in the media on a now annual basis.

Full post: The Transparency Project

A fork in the road – Cafcass and their pathways

A little while ago we wrote some about Cafcass’ new proposed High Conflict pathway, which had been hailed in the press as a big thing in terms of dealing effectively with parental alienation.

Full post: The Transparency Project

Celebrities are given a smidgen of privacy at a difficult time in their lives shocker

Looking behind the headline: Jamie and Louise Redknapp’s divorce papers to be kept secret as a judge blocks the release of documents.

Full post: The Transparency Project

2018 off to a great start then

On her first day back at court Lucy Reed hears that a DFJ is finding that the LAA are refusing to meet the costs of parents attending hearings unless there is an order directing their attendance.

Full post: Pink Tape