The Practical Lawyer


Children – safeguarding guidance

Updated safeguarding guidance, to be read in conjunction with relevant statutory guidance, has been issued by the government.

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Children – jurisdiction

M is a Brazilian national and had wrongfully removed her son from Spain to the UK. F is a Spanish national and sought the child’s return to Spain.

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Financial remedies – variation of orders

F applied for an order varying a financial order by discharge, because the son now lives with him in Canada. M made an application to enforce the existing order.

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Procedure – legal bloggers and reporters

A new pilot FPR 2010 Practice Direction 36J came into force on 1 October 2018 under which so-called ‘legal bloggers’ and other external court reporters are allowed into family proceedings in the Family Court and the Family Division of the High Court.

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Children – cross-examination

A complainant in family proceedings not being offered the same protection as a complainant in a criminal trial is ‘manifestly irrational and unfair’, the High Court has ruled.

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Civil partnership – human rights

The lack of provision in the Civil Partnership Act 2004 for opposite-sex couples to enter into a civil partnership is incompatible with human rights law.

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Children – vaccination

The parents of a child (B) were separated and disagreed about a number of issues, including whether she should be immunised.

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Cohabitation – widowed parent’s allowance

The Supreme Court made a declaration that s39A Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) 1992 Act, by which a widowed parent can only claim widowed parent’s allowance (WPA) if they were married to or the civil partner of the deceased (D), is incompatible with Art 14 ECHR.

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Divorce – behaviour

Though the Owens' marriage has, indeed, broken down – Mrs Owen has failed to convince even the Supreme Court to allow her to divorce her husband on the basis he ‘has behaved in such a way that she cannot reasonably be expected to live with him’.

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Procedure – forced marriage and FGM

A new pilot Practice Direction, supplementing the FPR, is intended to improve notification to the police when the court makes FGM and forced marriage protection orders. The new pilot PD 36H came into effect on 23 July 2018 and sets out the procedure for service of certain protection orders on the police at a centralised email address. Orders are also required to be monitored by the Vulnerability Coordination Centre.

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