Litigant-in-person figures expose family courts crisis

Latest government figures highlighting the rising number of private law cases and litigants in person have prompted calls for the government to heed recent warnings about the family justice system.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

Important overview of Court of Protection’s welfare jurisdiction published

Cardiff University uses ground breaking empirical research.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children in care numbers rise at fastest rate in five years

The number of children in care has risen at its fastest rate in five years while the number of children being adopted continues to fall, official figures have revealed.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

MIAMs in April to June 2017 down 11% on a year ago

1,600 mediation starts was the lowest number since LASPO Act was introduced.

Full story: Family Law Week

More than half of child abuse victims experience domestic abuse in later life, statistics show

In the last year alone, roughly one in six former child victims reported domestic abuse; those aged between 16 and 24 were most likely victims.

Full story: The Independent

Family court statistics quarterly: April to June 2017

This report presents the latest statistics on type and volume of cases that are received and processed through the family court system of England and Wales in the second quarter of 2017 (April to June).

Full story: Ministry of Justice

Resolution comments on latest ONS statistics on Civil Partnerships

In response to today’s figures (Tuesday), which show civil partnerships rose by 3.4% in 2016.

Full story: Resolution

Over a quarter of adopted families in crisis, survey shows

More than a quarter of adopted families are in crisis, according to a survey by the BBC and charity Adoption UK.

Full story: BBC News

Two million couples missing out on tax break, says HMRC

Nearly half the couples eligible to claim marriage tax allowance are still failing to do so, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Full story: BBC News

President of Family Division tells new family lawyers: “We have to embrace technology.”

Over 200 family lawyers and other family justice professionals at the start of their careers gathered this week in Central London, to take part in Resolution’s inaugural national YRes conference.

Full story: Resolution

Labour-backed report calls for more generous legal aid system

Review criticises coalition government’s cuts and calls for new law enshrining right to justice.

Full story: The Guardian

Eligibility criteria relaxed for family magistrates

Requirement to sit in crime for two years to be removed.

Full story: Family Law Week

reunite publishes further international child abduction guides for India and Pakistan

Following reunite's publication in July of a ´Guide to International Child Abduction and Poland´ the charity has published two further guides, relating to India and Pakistan.

Full story: Family Law Week

Flexible court hours pilot is postponed

Now due to start in February 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017

The Children and Social Work Act 2017 (Commencement No. 1) Regulations 2017 bring specified provisions of the Children and Social Work Act into force on 31 October 2017.

Full story: Family Law Week

Directors of Children’s Services join call for mental health support for care leavers

Barnardo’s report finds that two-thirds of care leavers with mental health needs are not receiving help.

Full story: Family Law Week

Legal proceedings not needed in treatment withdrawal case, says judge

A Court of Protection judge has concluded that legal proceedings were not necessary when there was agreement between the family of a sufferer from Huntington’s disease and her clinicians that clinically assisted nutrition and hydration was no longer in her best interests and should be withdrawn with the consequence that she would die.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Judge throws McKenzie Friend out of court over “tirade” against him and solicitors

A district judge has explained how he had to throw a McKenzie Friend out of his court after she disrupted proceedings and threatened complaints against him and the other side’s solicitors.

Full story: Legal Futures

Domestic abuse: Focus more on children, says Ofsted

In a new report Ofsted says schools in England must prioritise education about healthy relationships.

Full story: BBC News

Judge blasts lack of therapy for mother faced with losing second child

A Family Court judge has questioned the spending of money on the issuing of legal proceedings and on psychological evidence when this expenditure is incurred before attempts have been made at therapeutic support, in a case where a vulnerable mother was faced with the loss of a second child to adoption.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Grandmother to receive backdated foster care allowance from London borough

Ombudsman reminds councils of their duties to friends and family foster carers.

Full story: Family Law Week

David Williams QC appointed to High Court bench

David Williams QC of 4 Paper Buildings has been appointed a Justice of the High Court with effect from 2 October 2017 consequential to the elevation of Sir Andrew Moylan to the Court of Appeal.

Full story: Family Law Week

McKenzie ban back to drawing board

HM Judiciary is set to reassess some of its proposals for regulating the fast-expanding phenomenon of fee-charging McKenzie friends after a consultation on banning the practice received ‘large numbers of responses’.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

E-working in the family jurisdiction and our plans for reform

The attached paper has been produced to provide judiciary and operational colleagues with a much needed update about our plans for the future in relation to e-working in the family jurisdiction.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Cafcass private law demand

In August 2017, Cafcass received a total of 3,718 new private law cases. This is an 8% increase compared with those received in August 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

Care applications in August 2017

In August 2017, Cafcass received a total of 1,241 care applications. This figure represents a 1.5% decrease compared with those received in August 2016.

Full story: Cafcass

CPS makes commitment to male victims of sexual and domestic abuse

The Crown Prosecution Service has published its first ever public statement recognising the needs and experiences of male victims of offences including rape, domestic abuse, harassment, stalking and child sexual abuse.

Full story: Crown Prosecution Service

President issues new PD12J - Child Arrangements and Contact Orders: Domestic Abuse and Harm

The President of the Family Division has issued a circular dealing with domestic abuse and containing a new PD12J, which comes into force on 2 October 2017.

Full story: Family Law

Care leavers missing out on mental health support, study finds

Around two-thirds of care leavers with mental health problems are not receiving specialist support, a study by Barnardo's has found.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Settlement Conferences pilot and evaluation

Some Designated Family Judge areas are piloting ‘settlement conferences’.

Full story: Courts and Tribunals Judiciary

Social worker criticised for ‘factually impoverished’ evidence in court

Judge Moradifar said the social worker's evidence was some of the most "unhelpful" he'd ever heard.

Full story: Community Care

Local Government Association calls for more NHS practices and trusts to submit FGM figures

Newly recorded cases of FGM fall slightly in last quarter.

Full story: Family Law Week

Ombudsman criticises London council for errors in children’s complaints handling

Council failed to involve mother in assessment and decision making.

Full story: Family Law Week

European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and protecting children’s rights

Charities publish briefing calling for amendments to Withdrawal Bill.

Full story: Family Law Week

Returning jihadis will end up in family courts, Lord Chief Justice warns

British jihadis returning from Syria will put pressure on the family courts over the next year, the Lord Chief Justice has said.

Full story: The Telegraph

Welsh Government launches consultation on cross-border secure accommodation placements

Consultation focuses on local authorities’ duties.

Full story: Family Law Week

Serious case review questions ‘value’ of supervision orders

Review says murder of Ayeeshia-Jayne Smith by her mother could not have been predicted, but criticises ‘lack of professional curiosity’.

Full story: Community Care

London borough finds interim placement for teenager after judicial criticism

Southwark Council has now said it has found an interim placement for a troubled teenager after criticism from a judge.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

Child Support Agency case closures: June 2014 to June 2017

Quarterly experimental statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency case closure programme from June 2014 to June 2017.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Families left devastated by false claims of FGM in girls

Some children in the UK have spent months on child protection plans - or in foster care - on the false suspicion they are victims of female genital mutilation, a BBC report has found.

Full story: BBC News

Welsh Government consults on SGOs

New code of practice to come into force in July 2018.

Full story: Family Law Week

Launch of IFLAS – International Family Law Arbitration Scheme

New innovative arbitration scheme launched.

Full story: Family Law Week

“Domestic Abuse survivors given a voice to vote”

Government to change law to make it easier for survivors to vote anonymously.

Full story: Family Law Week

Mr Justice Hayden will continue to relist case to keep the heat up

Copy of judgment to be sent to Minister in case where a secure accommodation place cannot be found.

Full story: Family Law Week

Final Report on litigants who lack litigation capacity in Care proceedings published

Key recommendations published.

Full story: Family Law Week

Divorce ruling 'leaves law in state of flux'

Family lawyers predict a rise in the number of couples seeking prenuptial agreements after the Court of Appeal dismissed a woman's bid for an equal share of her and her ex-husband's assets.

Full story: Law Society Gazette