Legal aid Advice and assistance. The underlying issue in the proceedings concerned whether a child should live with his parents or with other members of his wider family, or whether he should, as the local authority argued, be adopted outside the family. The Family Court had previously made orders as to legal aid and the funding of an expert assessment of whether each parent required the assistance of an intermediary. In the present judgment, it held, inter alia, that the cost of funding an intermediaryin courtproperly fell on Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, but where the services of an intermediary were required otherwise than during a court hearing, the cost fell on the Legal Aid Agency.
Practice Litigation in person. The present proceedings concerned issues arising out the father's status as a litigant in person. The Family Court held that, where a party was unrepresented and 'unable to examine or cross-examine a witness effectively,' the court had a duty to assist that party, under s31G(6)of the . Where the court was satisfied that it was not 'appropriate' for the judge to put questions to an alleged victim, the court had to arrange for a legal representative to be appointed to put those questions. Further, the court might direct that the costs of such a representative be borne by Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The mother and father separated following period of cohabitation and one child. An order was made by the court in regard to the level of payments required by the father. The father in due course applied under of the Child Support Act 1991 to the Secretary of State and the Child Maintenance Service for that service to fix the legal level of maintenance. The mother did not accept that reasoning, nor the application of the section to the actual facts and circumstances. As a result, she sought to appeal. She also applied to the court for restoration of the previous order or a top up under s 8 of the 1991 Act. The Family Division held that there was no jurisdiction to make a 'top up' order. However a lump sum payment was ordered to fund her appeal.
Divorce Financial provision. A wife began proceedings for divorce and a financial remedy order. She suspected that her husband had property in Jordan and asked him for disclosure. He denied the allegation and a consent order on financial provision was granted. The wife discovered later that the husband did have property in Jordan. She applied for permission to appeal against a consent order. The Family Division, in allowing the application, held that, whilst non-disclosure did not mean that a consent order previously granted should be set aside, in the present case, there was evidence of potentially significant non-disclosure and the wife's appeal had a realistic prospect of success.
Divorce Financial provision. On the wife's application for enforcement of a maintenance agreement, the judge had made orders regarding the payment of interim periodical payments and arrears of maintenance. He subsequently re-characterised that order as a 'scheduled court directed part payment of the outstanding lump sum' and ordered that the husband be allowed only to make payment to his solicitor if he paid a corresponding sum on each occasion to the wife. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, allowed the husband's appeal on the ground that the judge had not had the jurisdiction to have made the orders that he had.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The proceedings concerned an appeal by the father against the making of care and placement orders in relation to his daughter. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the father's appeal, held that the recorder had engaged with the essence of the case and his judgment had contained the essential ingredients necessary for there to be a proper determination of the issues.
Divorce Appeal. Post divorce, the husband had refused an open offer of settlement from the wife. As a result, the judge in effect dismissed his application for financial remedy. The husband sought permission to appeal and that was refused on the basis that his appeal had no reasonable prospect of success.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The mother appealed against a care order in respect of her daughter, granted under of the Adoption and Children Act 2002, authorising the local authority to place her for adoption. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, in dismissing the appeal, held that it was difficult to consider that any other conclusion had been open to the judge on the evidence. The court also commented on the application of Re B-S (Children) (Adoption Order: Leave to Oppose) ().
Child Protection. The court was concerned with a vulnerable young person, AB, who was 17 years old and whom it was asserted by the local authority that she was the victim of child sexual exploitation by, at least, ten much older men. The authority applied for civil injunctions under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of the men. The Family Division granted the injunctions as requested and the reporting restrictions order in respect of each respondent were discharged.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The parties were the divorced parents of two children. The father sought a specific issue order that would allow him to take the children to Jordan to, among other things, visit his relatives. The mother opposed the application. The Family Court held that the application would be allowed, subject to undertakings including the provision of a bond.