The Practical Lawyer


Children – disposal of body

The high-profile ruling concerning the right of a 14-year-old to be cryogenically frozen followed a disagreement between her parents about their daughter’s wishes. In this case, the girl died from cancer before the ruling became public. She had made known her wishes to be frozen cryogenically, having researched the issue in detail.

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Procedure – wards of court

FPR Practice Direction 12D, Interviewing Wards of Court, has been amended by the President following his recent judgment as to whether police/security service officers can interview a ward of court without prior approval of the wardship judge.

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Jurisdiction – arbitration

A new international family law arbitration scheme to help families involved in multinational family disputes is live from 4 September 2017. An online questionnaire will first be completed by the parties so that all relevant facts for forum dispute can be obtained.

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Care proceedings – leaving care plan

It was of critical importance that ‘leaving care’ planning for a very vulnerable 17-year-old girl should begin immediately. This was the fifth judgment of the President in various proceedings involving the girl. He endorsed the LA care plan for her, emphasising that she is entitled to enjoy all the benefits accruing to her as a ‘looked after’ child – both now and after she reaches 18.

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Children – care proceedings

In this case, the two children (7 and 11) had lived with M since birth. She had cared for them with increasing support from various sources, including her own mother who lived with them.

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Children – child arrangements order

M unsuccessfully applied for a child arrangements order including to relocate to Italy as the child’s main carer, but F opposed and made a cross-application for shared care. M had alleged serious domestic abuse on F’s part.

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Financial remedies – post-separation accrual

The most complicated evidential issues in relation to post-separation accrual and financial remedies arise in respect of active growth, says the author of this useful summary of recent rulings on post-separation accrual. Careful analysis of the genesis of assets being utilised is needed, and the individual’s role in creating active growth.

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Financial remedies – short marriage

Departing from the equal sharing principle to achieve overall fairness between the parties was justified, given the combination of factors including a short marriage (of about five-and-a-half years), no children, dual incomes and separate finances.

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Children – radicalisation

Islamist extremism and radicalism exist as a brutal and pernicious fact in our society, but it is important that the court holds fast to ‘the cardinal precepts of fairness, impartiality and due process that underpin the rule of law in our liberal democracy’. This requires that the court is satisfied to the requisite standard of proof on the basis of evidence, before making findings adverse to an individual.

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Procedure – deputies

The OPG has issued practice guidance for solicitors and public deputies in relation to claiming travel costs. The practice note explains the OPG’s interpretation of the Court of Protection’s recently updated practice direction on fixed costs (which introduces a new provision allowing public authorities and other third sector deputies to claim a fixed amount for travel costs).

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