‘Victims of the justice system’ left to rely on free help from lawyers let down by courts, judiciary and legal aid, blasts former top family judge

Errors by courts and judges that left a couple’s final divorce decree potentially void was exposed in a judgment from the former head of the family division, who slammed the state for “washing its hands” of the problem it created by not granting legal aid to the parties to resolve their case.

Full story: Legal Cheek

Council seeks to arrange home care for woman ‘detained’ in hospital for six months

Council social services bosses say they are trying to arrange a care package for a woman with mental health difficulties after a judge said she had “effectively been detained” in hospital for six months because her home was not fit to live in.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge asked to reconsider social services evidence relating to death of 10-year-old

Council social services bosses are waiting for a High Court judge to make findings about the cause of death of a 10-year-old girl whose body was found in her bedroom more than two years ago.

Full story: Care Appointments

Stalking Protection Act 2019 comes into force

The Stalking Protection Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019. It comes into force immediately.

Full story: Family Law Week

Brexit Secretary responds to Children’s Commissioners’ ‘No Deal’ concerns

‘Arrangements are in place to ensure protection of children when UK leaves the EU’.

Full story: Family Law Week

Effective co-parenting is key to keeping children out of the courts: Cafcass

“Public health approach would help prevent cases from reaching crisis point”.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge who banged her head on a desk during a court hearing was being 'sarcastic and condescending', investigation rules

A “sarcastic and condescending” judge who banged her head on her desk after a member of the public appeared before her at a family court hearing has been reprimanded.

Full story: The Telegraph

Woman lied about husband’s abuse and tried to exclude him from child’s life

A woman told a series of lies about her estranged husband’s behaviour and maliciously tried to exclude him from their five-year-old son’s life, a High Court judge has decided.

Full story: Care Appointments

Troubled Families Programme 'cuts number of children in care'

The government's Troubled Families Programme is cutting numbers of children in care by up to a third, new analysis from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government suggests.

Full story: Children & Young People Now

Vulnerable woman with complex health problems cannot leave care facility, judge decides

A 56-year-old woman with complex physical and mental health problems cannot be allowed to leave a care facility and return to her flat, a judge in a specialist court has ruled.

Full story: Care Appointments

Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2019 comes into force

The Children Act 1989 (Amendment) (Female Genital Mutilation) Act 2019 received Royal Assent on 15 March 2019. It comes into force immediately.

Full story: Family Law Week

Judge argues ‘transparency’ outweighs risk in naming council in child protection cases

A family court judge has spelled out why councils should be named in rulings on cases involving applications for children to be taken from the care of their parents.

Full story: Care Appointments

Court of Protection should not summarily dismiss cases where liberty is at stake, says senior judge

Court of Protection judges should not summarily dismiss cases where someone’s liberty is at stake, Mr Justice Hayden, Vice President of the court, has said.

Full story: Local Government Lawyer

No parental role for father who was part of ‘predatory’ group that sexually abused teen

A teenage girl groomed and sexually exploited by a group of “predatory men” is embroiled in family court litigation after giving birth.

Full story: Care Appointments

Child Support Agency case closure statistics: June 2014 to December 2018

Quarterly experimental statistics on the progress of the Child Support Agency (CSA) case closure programme from June 2014 to December 2018.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Child maintenance arrangements made after speaking to CM Options, December 2018

Child maintenance outcomes for parents that have spoken to Child Maintenance (CM) Options.

Full story: Department for Work and Pensions

Mother unaware that estranged child has cancer must stay in dark, judge says

A woman who does not know that her estranged teenage child has cancer must remain in the dark, a High Court judge says.

Full story: Care Appointments

Judge uses ‘plain English’ text to explain decision to woman with learning difficulties

A family court judge has used plain English in a bid to help a woman with learning difficulties understand why a baby must be taken from her care.

Full story: Care Appointments

Master grants Inheritance Act application made 25 years out of time

The High Court has granted permission to bring a claim under the Inheritance Act – despite it being issued some 25 years and nine months after the deadline for doing so.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

The Civil Partnership and Marriage (Same Sex Couples) (Jurisdiction and Judgments) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

These Regulations are made in exercise of the powers in section 8 of, and paragraph 21 of Schedule 7 to, the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively in England and Wales and Northern Ireland and other deficiencies arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (and in particular, the deficiencies under paragraphs (c), (d) and (g) of section 8(2) and paragraph (a) of section 8(3)).

Special guardianship assessments ‘rushed’ by 26-week care proceedings timescale, study finds

Professionals tell Lancaster University researchers of 'consistent concerns' about impact of deadline on rigour of process around special guardianship and supervision orders.

Full story: Community Care

Police guilty of gross misconduct in domestic abuse murder case

Police officers risk losing their jobs and pensions if they fail to properly investigate domestic abuse including stalking, harassment and coercive control following a landmark misconduct ruling.

Full story: The Observer

The Jurisdiction and Judgments (Family) (Amendment etc.) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

These Regulations are made in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies in retained EU law (in particular to address reciprocal arrangements which no longer exist and are no longer appropriate) arising from the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union.

Statutory Instrument

Women’s Aid responds to government’s ending violence against women and girls strategy

Refreshed strategy published “to re-affirm government’s commitments”.

Full story: Family Law Week

250 children from 79 women taken into care in West Cumbria

Almost 250 children from just 79 mothers in west Cumbria are in care, with neglect identified as the main reason, figures reveal.

Full story: BBC News

Mother convicted of FGM sentenced to eleven years imprisonment for the offence

The mother of a young girl who became the first person to be convicted of female genital mutilation offences in England and Wales has been sentenced to eleven years imprisonment.

Full story: Family Law Week

Man jailed for controlling and coercive behaviour and beating pregnant girlfriend

A man who repeatedly beat his pregnant partner has been jailed for three years for displaying controlling and coercive behaviour.

Full story: Family Law Week

Civil Partnerships Bill returned to House of Commons to consider amendments

The Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Deaths (Registration etc) Bill has received its third reading.

Full story: Family Law Week

The Family Procedure Rules 2010 and Court of Protection Rules 2017 (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

These Regulations are made in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies (in particular paragraph g of section 8(2)) arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

The Civil Jurisdiction and Judgments (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019

These Regulations are made in order to address failures of retained EU law to operate effectively and other deficiencies in retained EU law (in particular to address reciprocal arrangements which no longer exist and are no longer appropriate) arising from the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Statutory Instrument

£1m boost for male survivors of domestic abuse

Home Office sets out new measures to assist victims and bring perpetrators to justice.

Full story: The Guardian

Mother jailed for contempt after posting family court case details on Facebook

A 54-year-old woman has been jailed after posting information relating to family court litigation on Facebook.

Full story: Care Appointments

Many women fleeing domestic abuse face poverty, report finds

Respondents in England say partners use economic abuse as method of control.

Full story: The Guardian

HMCTS extends court modernisation programme by a year

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) has put back completion of the court modernisation programme by a year to 2023, it announced yesterday.

Full story: Legal Futures

Judge calls halt on parties 'stopping the clock' on delays

A widow has been refused permission to claim against the estate of her late husband after filing her application nearly 17 months out of time.

Full story: Law Society Gazette

High Court rejects evidence from law firm ‘whistleblower’

The president of the family division has rejected a wife’s application to admit the statement of a ‘whistleblower’ inside her former husband’s legal team who sent the court privileged information.

Full story: Legal Futures

Domestic abuse victims school priority call

Children whose families have had to move because of domestic violence should have priority for school places, says a charity report.

Full story: BBC News

Judge considers whether wealthy widow with dementia should get chance to go home

A judge has been asked to decide whether a wealthy widow who has dementia should be given the chance to leave a care facility and be looked after at home.

Full story: Care Appointments

James Bulger's father loses Jon Venables identity challenge

The father of James Bulger has lost a legal challenge to try to change a lifelong anonymity order for one of his son's killers.

Full story: BBC News

Supreme Court grants permission to appeal in Villiers v Villiers

Case concerns jurisdiction between England and Wales, and Scotland in maintenance proceedings.

Full story: Family Law Week

One in five children under supervision orders harmed again within five years

Study in England finds children placed with relatives have lower rates of return to court.

Full story: The Guardian

Speech by Mostyn J on spousal maintenance published

The Courts and Tribunals Judiciary website has recently published the text of a speech given by Mr Justice Mostyn on the subject of spousal maintenance.

Full story: Family Law Week

Police response to victims of domestic abuse continues to improve

Improvements found in how the police identify, respond to and support victims.

Full story: Family Law Week

Compensation scheme opened up for more victims of child sexual abuse

‘Same-roof’ rule of criminal injury compensation scheme to be abolished.

Full story: Family Law Week

Children’s Commissioner calls for improved safeguarding of children in gangs

Study published on children in England who are gang members.

Full story: Family Law Week