MIAMs down 14% compared to same period in 2015

The latest legal aid statistics published today (30 June 2016) show that the number of mediation assessments are down 14% compared to the same period in 2015.

Full story: Family Law

Nigel Shepherd comments on latest Family Court statistics

Statement by Resolution Chair Nigel Shepherd on today’s family court statistics.

Full story: Resolution

Resolution responds to latest legal aid statistics

Statement by Nigel Shepherd, Chair of Resolution, in response to publication of latest legal aid statistics.

Full story: Resolution

British woman, 60, who wants to use dead daughter's eggs to give birth to her own grandchild in world first wins legal appeal

A woman who wants to use her dead daughter's frozen eggs to give birth to her own grandchild has won a Court of Appeal battle.

Full story: The Telegraph

Pop-up family court hearing could take place in the pub, says top family judge

Pop-up family court hearings could take place in the pub and even online in the future, Britain’s most senior family law judge has suggested.

Full story: Daily Mail

Divorce settlements open to challenge as lawyers 'unaware of stamp duty change'

Thousands of divorce settlements could be left open to appeal because the Government’s new stamp duty surcharge is leaving estranged partners unable to buy their own home following a split.

Full story: The Telegraph

Councils failing to protect at-risk children, says Ofsted

More than a quarter judged ‘inadequate’ by social care report, and child protection system has too much mediocre provision.

Full story: The Guardian

Courts 'costs rule' sets precedent for family disputes over Wills

The High Court has handed down a costs judgement for in excess of £65,000 in the case Elliott v Simmonds [2016] EWHC 962 (Ch), setting a precedent that the courts will make costs orders against claimants who pursue weak Will challenges, act obstructively, cause delay and increase costs without incurring costs themselves.

Full story: Family Law

Sharia councils inquiry launched

The Home Affairs Committee is launching an inquiry into Sharia councils operating in the UK.

Full story: Family Law

EU referendum result - statement from Resolution Chair

Statement of Resolution Chair Nigel Shepherd following the EU referendum result.

Full story: Resolution

18 EU countries agree to clarify rules on property regimes for international couples

On 9 June 18 member states (not including the UK) of the EU reached a general approach on two regulations aimed at determining the rules applicable to property regimes for married couples or registered partners in cross-border situations.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge allows man to 'die with dignity' despite objections

The High Court has allowed a hospital to withhold resuscitation treatment for a dying patient with advanced dementia.

Full story: BBC News

Child cruelty offences in England highest in a decade

Rise of 75% in offences recorded by police in last ten years.

Full story: Family Law Week

High court refuses to publish Ben Butler judgment from 2014

Judge denies media application, saying releasing document could prejudice any retrial of man who murdered Ellie Butler.

Full story: The Guardian

Supreme Court strikes out appeal in Re D (A Child)

The Supreme Court has handed down its judgment in Re D (A Child) [2016] UKSC 34, striking out the appeal on the ground that it does not have jurisdiction to hear the appeal.

Full story: Family Law

Ellie Butler judge 'took unwarranted steps' to reunite her with violent parents

Mrs Justice Hogg criticised by case review for ‘extraordinary’ decision to return child 11 months before father beat her to death.

Full story: The Guardian

Council proposes cuts of up to 25% in special guardianship fees

Barnet council says fee reduction needed as current levels are unsustainable but campaigners voice concerns over move.

Full story: Community Care

Munby orders rehearing of case where child was adopted

A fact-finding hearing against parents who had their child adopted is to be reheard, after a criminal trial brought new evidence to light.

Full story: Community Care

Steep court fee rises are tax on justice, say MPs

Justice select committee condemns big rises in charges for divorce, employment or asylum cases as unjustified.

Full story: The Guardian

Mr Justice MacDonald reminds professionals of responsibilities when considering allegations by children

Actions of some professionals ‘materially prejudiced the welfare of both children’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children and Social Work Bill receives Second Reading

Bill will enter Committee Stage on 27th June 2016.

Full story: Family Law Week

Supreme Court to decide whether child must have ‘opportunity to be heard’ in disputed custody case

The Supreme Court will deliver its judgment in D (A Child) on Wednesday, 22 June.

Full story: Family Law Week

Adopting more children from care will save £310m, says government

An impact assessment on the impact of the Children and Social Work bill says government reforms will save more than £300 million over ten years.

Full story: Community Care

Peers slam 'rag-tag' social work plans

Peers have branded proposed government reforms of children's social work and safeguarding services a “rag tag” set of plans that is so vague that it treats Parliament with contempt.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Hundreds of millions of maintenance owed to children is failing to be collected

A new report published today finds hundreds of millions of pounds of child maintenance arrears owed to children are failing to be collected by the government – with new debts piling up in the new system worth an average of £668 per family.

Full story: Gingerbread

Court of Protection: final Case Management Pilot Practice Direction

The attached pilot Practice Direction is published in advance of a case management pilot commencing in the Court of Protection.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

MoJ seeks views on domestic violence legal aid

The Ministry of Justice has begun a review of legal aid in domestic violence cases as part of efforts to gather data, giving solicitors just over two weeks to share their views.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Newcastle mother's 17 children taken into care after birth

A mother from Newcastle had 17 children removed from her care by the local authority, the BBC has learned.

Full story: BBC News

Munby: changes needed to encourage more children to give evidence in family court proceedings

The chief of the family court has said there has been a sea-change in attitudes to children giving evidence in court, but more changes are necessary.

Full story: Community Care

Poppi Worthington death: Family had 'complex history'

Authorities showed "very little professional curiosity" about the family situation of a toddler who suddenly died, a report said.

Full story: BBC News

Disciplinary hearing rejects allegations against author of report on expert witnesses in Family Courts

The Health and Care Professions Council disciplinary panel dismisses all allegations.

Full story: Family Law Week

Bar Council and Law Society call for prohibition of paid “McKenzie friends” and for a replacement term to avoid confusion for Litigants in Person

The responses to the Judicial Executive Board’s Consultation – Reforming the courts’ approach to McKenzie Friends.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce cash demands of Saudi billionaire's ex-wife 'extraordinary'

The divorce cash demands of the ex-wife of a Saudi billionaire "are firmly in 'gasp' territory", a judge has heard.

Full story: BT.com

Ex-wife of green energy tycoon awarded £300,000 in divorce cash battle

The ex-wife of a green energy tycoon has been awarded a "modest" lump sum payment of £300,000 in final settlement of the couple's divorce cash battle.

Full story: Hereford Times

Cafcass private law demand

In May 2016, Cafcass received a total of 3,267 new private law cases.  This is a 17% increase on May 2015 levels.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in May 2016

In May 2016, Cafcass received a total of 1,141 care applications.  This figure represents a 23% increase compared to those received in May 2015.

Full story: Cafcass

Brexit risks ‘disruption and confusion’ in family law – Bar Council

A UK exit from the EU would risk ‘disruption and confusion’ in family law, at a time when family courts would find it difficult to cope, a report from the Bar Council claims.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Judge criticises police for flawed evidence gathering from children in abuse case

Boy's right to fair trial was breached in cases where he was alleged to have abused other children under his father's direction.

Full story: Community Care

Commissioner to monitor placement moves of children in care

An index designed to measure stability for children in care is to be launched by the Office of the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

'Comedy of errors' left baby legally fatherless, judge reveals as he criticises NHS clinic

Britain's top family judge has criticised a "comedy of errors" at a top NHS fertility clinic that left a baby in danger of being left legally fatherless.

Full story: The Telegraph

Councils seek judicial review over funding of Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards

Four local authorities have lodged a claim for judicial review against the Department of Health over the level of funding for the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

More than 1,200 cases of FGM recorded in England in just three months

At least two per cent of new cases were on girls under 18 and 11 girls were born in the UK.

Full story: The Independent

Female bench appointments sees gender diversity success

A recent statistical bulletin published by the Judicial Appointments Commission indicates success for women receiving appointments to the judicial bench in England and Wales, with almost half (45%) of candidates being female.

Full story: Family Law

Bristol courts increase awareness of domestic abuse

The Bristol Civil and Family Justice Centre held a session on 26 May 2016 to provide more information to court staff and Personal Support Unit volunteers about domestic abuse.

Full story: Family Law

Children in care struggle to access advocacy support

Many looked-after children are failing to receive the support they are entitled to when important decisions about their care are being taken, a report has revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Directors of Children's Services welcome ending of serious case reviews

Move to timelier, local reviews will help partners learn lessons.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mental health services failing children with life-threatening conditions, says Children’s Commissioner

Quarter of children referred for specialist mental health treatment in 2015 did not receive a service.

Full story: Family Law Week

Top 10 reasons for returning divorce petitions

The most common reasons for divorce petitions being returned by divorce centres have been revealed by Resolution.

Full story: Family Law

Social work bill could exempt councils from child protection duties

Campaigners say Clause 15 in the Children and Social Work Bill could see local authorities request exemptions from key parts of the Children Act 1989.

Full story: Community Care