Judge criticises local authority and Children’s Guardian over efforts to identify birth father but declines to revoke adoption order – Local Government Lawyer

Posted June 1st, 2020 in adoption, children, families, family courts, judges, local government, news by sally

‘A Family Division judge has rejected a birth father’s application under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court to revoke an adoption order made in November 2019, despite levelling criticisms at the local authority and Children’s Guardian over a lack of rigour and urgency to identify him.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 29th May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Covid-19 remote hearings “must not become settled norm” – Legal Futures

Posted May 28th, 2020 in coronavirus, families, family courts, news, remote hearings by sally

‘Remote hearings have been a successful emergency measure but should not be taken as establishing a settled mode of operation for the family courts after Covid-19, a leading judge has warned.’

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Legal Futures, 26th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

Recognition of foreign marriage—implications of (Padero-Mernagh v Mernagh) – Family Law

‘Cases involving bigamy are relatively rare, and the judgment of Williams J in Padero-Mernagh v Mernagh provides a useful analysis of the relevant law in that regard. Of particular note, however, is the way in which the final hearing was dealt with remotely, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

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Family Law, 28th May 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Chancery Lane calls for ‘best practice’ document on remote hearings in family courts, warns of “guidance fatigue” – Local Government Lawyer

‘The Law Society has urged the President of the Family Division to issue “best practice” and “top tips” rather than full prescriptive guidance on remote hearings.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 27th May 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Keeping families together: the role of the court in child reunification – Family Law

Posted May 27th, 2020 in children, families, family courts, guardianship, news, supervision orders by sally

‘On May 11th the first meeting of a newly formed sub-group of the Public Law Working Group took place to review practice, guidance, regulations and the effectiveness of the law on supervision orders. Authorised by the President of the Family Division, the working party will be led by Professor Judith Harwin, Centre for Child and Family Justice, Lancaster University and Mr. Justice Keehan. It is the first review of the legislation since its enactment in the Children Act 1989.’

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Family Law, 26th May 2020

Source: www.familylaw.co.uk

Ayshea Megyery summarises recent cases and research in respect of the impact of COVID-19 in the family courts – Park Square Barristers

‘Whether a case proceeds by remote hearing must be decided on the sometimes competing factors of the individual case. However, pushing forward to achieve remote hearings must not be at the expense of a fair and just process. The decision of the President distils a number of key principles to be borne in mind. Just because a matter can be heard remotely does not mean it must be. In this case the delay in proceedings was outweighed by the fact that the hearing could not be properly or fairly conducted without the physical presence of the mother before the judge in the courtroom. As a result of that decision, the President re-listed the matter until such time that the restrictions relating to Covid-19 are lifted.’

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Park Square Barristers, 14th May 2020

Source: www.parksquarebarristers.co.uk

Should Final Hearing continue remotely? Judgment of Lieven J [2020] EWHC 1086 (Fam) – Broadway House Chambers

‘ The case deals with whether to proceed with lay evidence remotely or to adjourn part heard having heard the medical evidence over a period of 5 days via Zoom. The case concerns an application for a care order for a 4 year child. In April 2019, his two month old sister died at home. The post mortem established that his sister had sustained 65 fractures to her body as well as brain injuries. As a result the child was made the subject of an interim care order in April 2019.’

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Broadway House Chambers, 14th May 2020

Source: broadwayhouse.co.uk

Presence of shielding QC at in-person hearing “not essential” – Legal Futures

‘The physical presence in a sensitive family case of leading counsel shielding from Covid-19 was desirable but “not essential”, a High Court judge has ruled in ordering an in-person hearing.’

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Legal Futures, 18th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.co.uk

The magic soup stone strikes again (more new authorities about remote hearings) – Transparency Project

‘[T]here are two new remote hearing related judgments out :

A Local Authority v Mother & Ors [2020] EWHC 1086 (Fam) and Re Q [2020] EWHC 1109 (Fam).’

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Transparency Project, 7th May 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.uk

It’s not just what you say, it’s how you act in the courtroom – Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32 – 5SAH

‘The family court has transformed in the last few weeks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Remote court hearings were once deemed futuristic but as with other public services, the courts have had to adapt. However, in this judgment (Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing)), Sir Andrew McFarlane sent a clear message that not all hearings will be suitable for remote hearing.’

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5 SAH, 6th May 2020

Source: www.5sah.co.uk

Child Arrangement Orders and Coronavirus – I’m not seeing my child what can I do ? – Becket Chambers

Posted May 7th, 2020 in children, coronavirus, family courts, news by sally

‘From the moment that the Government announced the possibility of lockdown measures being imposed, lawyers were inundated with questions about whether and how Child Arrangements Orders should be implemented over this period.’

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Becket Chambers, 29th April 2020

Source: becket-chambers.co.uk

Children seeing parents “distressed” by remote hearings – Legal Futures

‘Children are “coming in and out of the room” during remote family law hearings and in some cases witnessing their “distressed” parents, a major study has found.’

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Legal Futures, 7th May 2020

Source: www.legalfutures.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

In light of Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32, what will the Court’s approach be post-lockdown? – Spire Barristers

Posted May 5th, 2020 in barristers, coronavirus, family courts, news, remote hearings by sally

‘Lockdown measures were implemented on 23rd March 2020 and, as many of you will be aware, the following day, The Bar Council issued the following guidance to barristers on attending Family (and Civil) Court hearings:

“You should not attend in person unless the hearing is genuinely urgent and it cannot be done remotely. Such a hearing will be a rare occurrence”.’

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Spire Barristers, 29th April 2020

Source: spirebarristers.co.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

Civil and family cases being adjourned “for no apparently good reason”: Bar Council – Local Government Lawyer

‘Many civil and family cases are being adjourned “for no apparently good reason”, the Chair of the Bar Council, Amanda Pinto QC, has claimed.’

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Local Government Lawyer, 28th April 2020

Source: www.localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk

Remote hearings and inclusive justice – Transparency Project

‘How effectively are people with a cognitive impairment, mental health condition and/or neuro-diverse condition able to participate in proceedings in the justice system, particularly when they engage with that system via video or telephone link?’

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Transparency Project, 24th April 2020

Source: www.transparencyproject.org.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

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