Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, made findings of fact relating to the father's application for contact with his three children, whom the mother had removed from the family home. The mother applied for injunctive relief. The court held that, although the mother had associated with undesirable people and had told lies, her conduct was not sufficient to render all of her evidence as to the actions of the father and grandparents unbelievable.
Adoption Practice. The Family Division was informed that there were a not insignificant number of children around the country who were 'statutory orphans'. Local authorities around the country sought guidance to assist both them and parents to regularise the children's position. Counsel and the local authority solicitor put together procedural guidance as to the future management of applications made by local authorities to revoke freeing orders.
Family proceedings Confidential information in care proceedings. The Family Division made a reporting restriction order in care proceedings, in circumstances where allegations had been made in respect of the child's foster placement.
Minor Medical treatment. The Family Division made a declaration that the treatment package proposed by the applicant NHS Trust was lawful, in circumstances where the mother did not consent to radiotherapy treatment for her son, aged seven, who was suffering from a malignant brain tumour.
Disclosure and inspection of documents Divorce. The claimant sought disclosure regarding assets of her former husband, the defendant. The defendant had previously been found to be in contempt of court following his failure to carry out proper disclosure in the divorce proceedings. The court held that it had jurisdiction to order disclosure, and that it would be right in the instant circumstances to do so.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The judge in a residence hearing had granted the father an immediate interim residence order and had also refused to allow the mother to adduce evidence in support of her claim. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division held, inter alia, that the judge had erred in the way that he regulated the evidence that the mother could adduce.
Family proceedings Care proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division allowed an appeal by the parents against a fact-finding judgment made in the course of care proceedings. The court found that the judge had failed to explain how she had been able to move directly from an acceptance that the cause of the child's skull fractures remained a mystery to a finding that it was more likely than not that the injuries were non-accidental.
Ecclesiastical law Place of meeting for religious worship. The claimant, a Scientologist, wanted to marry her fianc, also a Scientologist, at the London Church Chapel, a chapel of the Church of Scientology. The chapel was not registered under of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855 (the 1855 Act) as a 'place of meeting for religious worship'. The defendant Registrar General of Births, Deaths and Marriages refused to register the chapel as a place of meeting for religious worship under the 1855 Act on the grounds that the Chapel was not a place for 'religious worship' as Scientology was not a religion. The Administrative Court agreed with the defendant and established case law.
Family proceedings Orders in family proceedings. The Court of Appeal, Civil Division, delivered a supplementary judgment further to an earlier judgment in which it had ordered a transition plan be drawn up and implemented to secure the removal of two children to Slovakia to live with their grandmother. Following the parties' failure to agree a transition plan, the court ordered that transition commence immediately and be concluded by 4 January 2013.
Criminal law Child sex offences. The defendant was convicted of rape and sexual activity with a child under 13 years old, and possession of and making child pornography. He was sentenced to a total of 15 years' imprisonment. On appeal against conviction and sentence, the Court of Appeal, Criminal Division, found that evidence of his three-year-old son's complaints had been admissible, the judge's directions had been appropriate and the counts should not have been severed. However, the total sentence of 15 years' imprisonment was manifestly excessive and the defendant's sentence would be reduced to 13 years' imprisonment.