FINDINGS OF FACT………’Failure to protect’. – Becket Chambers

‘It is always good to return to basics and remind ourselves of the fundamental principle that ‘findings of fact’ must be based on evidence, and this can include inferences that can properly be drawn from the evidence’. A reminder that it is not on suspicion or simply speculation. (RE A (Fact Finding: Disputed Findings) [2011] EWCA Civ 12 [2011] 1 FLR 1817.’

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Becket Chambers, 5th May 2020

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

A decision “in these extraordinary times”: Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders) [2020] EWCA Civ 583 – Parklane Plowden Chambers

‘This case has been keenly awaited by family law practitioners, being the first appeal in a public law children case to reach the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings during the COVID 19 pandemic. The appeal was heard on 22 April 2020. On the following day the same bench heard the second such appeal, Re B (Children) (Remote Hearing: Interim Care Order) [2020] EWCA (Civ) 584. There will undoubtedly be further appeals in children cases heard in the High Court or the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings in the coming weeks.’

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Parklane Plowden Chambers, 30th April 2020

Source: www.parklaneplowden.co.uk

Re A (Children) (Remote Hearing: Care and Placement Orders)[2020] EWCA Civ 583 – Broadway House Chambers

‘This is the first appeal in a case relating to the welfare of children to reach the Court of Appeal on the issue of remote hearings during the Covid-19 crisis.’

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Broadway House Chambers, 1st May 2020

Source: broadwayhouse.co.uk

Children’s Commissioner for England calls for revocation of “unnecessary” regulations relaxing children’s social care protections – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, has sharply criticised the government’s relaxation of regulations relating to children’s social care, saying she does not believe that they are necessary except in one limited case.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 1st May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

The Adoption and Children (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2020, and a little bit of history. – Transparency Project

‘The regulations make changes to the duties that local authorities have with regards to safeguarding children. These are temporary changes and the regulations give a date in September 2020 for them to lapse. This date can be extended, reviewed or simply removed. They were simply made by virtue of the Coronavirus Act 2020. Parliament did not need to approve them first.’

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Transparency Project, 3rd May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

High Court judge sends copy of ruling to ministers to express concern over “nationwide problem” of lack of capacity for secure care – Local Government Lawyer

‘A High Court judge has sent ministers a copy of a ruling in which he expressed concern at a “nationwide problem” of the very limited capacity in the children’s social care system for young people with complex needs who need secure care.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 29th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Court of Appeal sets out ‘cardinal points’ on remote hearings and approach to public law children cases – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Court of Appeal has handed down rulings in the first two appeals relating to the welfare of children to have reached the court on the issue of remote hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 30th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Government relaxation of regulations relating to children’s social care draws criticism – Local Government Lawyer

‘The government has amended several sets of regulations with a view to assisting the children’s social care sector during the coronavirus pandemic but the move has been strongly criticised by a children’s rights charity.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 28th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

A timely and important decision on remote hearings in the family courts – Re P: (A Child Remote Hearings) (2020) EWFC 32 – Garden Court Chambers

‘This is a serious FII case, and concerned care proceedings involving a 7 year old child. It was alleged that the mother had falsely made a number of damaging claims that her child was suffering from a myriad serious ailments and health conditions. This was all hotly disputed by the mother, so the case was fully contested. It had been fixed several months previously for a 15 days fact finding and disposal hearing before a Judge at Guildford Law Courts. Following the lockdown, the Judge had decided the case would proceed as a remote hearing using the Skype video platform.’

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Garden Court Chambers, 22nd April 2020

Source: www.gardencourtchambers.co.uk

ADCS President warns of potential spike in demand and backlog of care applications following COVID-19 outbreak – Local Government Lawyer

‘It is possible that there will be “huge spikes in demand across the children’s social care spectrum”, a backlog of new care applications and more children needing to come into care as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the President of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services for 2020/21 has warned.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

P (A Child: Remote Hearing) (Rev 3) [2020] EWFC 32: When is remote justice not justice? – Transparency Project

‘Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) (Rev 3) [2020] EWFC 32 is a decision of the President of the Family Division and Head of Family Justice, Sir Andrew McFarlane, about whether or not a 15 day trial should go ahead remotely. The trial was set down within care proceedings to determine very serious allegations that the mother had harmed her seven-year-old daughter by fabricating or inducing illness (known in the trade as FII).’

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Transparency Project, 23rd April 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Vaccination of Children in Care – St Philips Chambers

‘In the coming weeks and months, we are likely to be hearing more and more about a vaccine against coronavirus, and possible pressure and expectations to relax the regulations and timescales around trialling it. Parents are likely to be asked to consider and consent to a vaccine that they may have reservations about. Of course, we currently live in a country where recommended vaccinations are not mandatory, but require parents’ consent. It is not inconceivable that England & Wales will move to effectively requiring mandatory vaccination in order to access other services such as schools and nurseries. Pause for a minute and think of the implications for local authorities and foster placements.’

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St Philips Chambers, 14th April 2020

Source: st-philips.com

Covid-19: contact with children in care – 5SAH

‘We are plotting a course through unchartered waters. Never before has the family justice system had to deal with such a wide-reaching challenge as the COVID-19 epidemic. The issue of contact with children in care presents one of the most turbulent seas to cross. This article explores the legal principles that will give family practitioners their bearings and guide the court’s approach through the coming weeks and months.’

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5SAH, 6th April 2020

Source: www.5sah.co.uk

Interim Separation During Proceedings – Becket Chambers

‘We have all experienced cases, especially when representing a young mother who has been placed with the child, often a first child and a baby, in a mother and baby foster placement and that placement has broken down for a variety of different reasons.’

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Becket Chambers, 9th April 2020

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Care proceedings rise steeply in family courts during UK lockdown – The Guardian

‘The number of urgent care proceedings in the family courts has increased sharply since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Guardian has learned.’

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The Guardian, 14th April 2020

Source: www.theguardian.com

Coronacontact- what about the children in care? – Transparency Project

‘Family life is significantly disrupted as a result of the ‘lockdown’, and many children in care will not have seen their parents for a number of weeks. This short article considers the legal position with regard to the duties of local authorities in England to looked-after children and contact, and the interaction between this and the Coronavirus Act 2020 and regulations.’

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Transparency Project, 11th April 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

Court of Appeal upholds order for disclosure to police of documents filed in care proceedings – Local Government Lawyer

Posted April 9th, 2020 in appeals, care orders, child cruelty, children, disclosure, documents, families, news by sally

‘The Court of Appeal has rejected a father’s appeal against an order for the disclosure of certain documents filed in childcare proceedings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 7th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Question of Incompatibility – Deprivation of Children’s Liberty Without Court Order? – Family Law Week

‘All persons are guaranteed the right to liberty and security of the person, as enshrined in Article 5 of the European Convention of Human Rights. As such, when an issue arises with regard to a potential deprivation of liberty of a child (or indeed of any person), appropriate procedural safeguards must be in place to ensure the child’s Article 5 as well as their Article 8 rights to private and family life are sufficiently protected. For some time, the courts have undertaken this process through the use of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to authorise and review any such deprivation of liberty in a way that renders the process compliant with Article 5.’

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Family Law Week, 12th March 2020

Source: www.familylawweek.co.uk

High Court judge highlights clash between diplomatic immunity and child protection – Local Government Lawyer

‘A Family Court case has highlighted a “virtually insoluble dilemma” between diplomatic immunity and child protection, leading Mr Justice Mostyn to call for an amendment to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 26th March 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Amendment of LA Plan, post final orders – what can parents do? – Local Government Lawyer

Posted March 13th, 2020 in appeals, care orders, children, families, fostering, human rights, local government, news by tracey

‘Natalie Cross looks at what needs to happen where parents seek to challenge a change to a care plan where the earlier plan (i.e. remaining at home) has already been approved by the court when the final order was made.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 13th March 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk