The Practical Lawyer


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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Procedure – expert witnesses

Expert witnesses must comply with court rules and related guidance appropriate to their area of expertise. New guidance for paediatric expert witnesses in family proceedings has now been issued.

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Procedure – LIPs; cross-examination

This case was a fact-finding hearing in wardship proceedings involving an LIP who sought to cross-examine M.

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Children – accommodation

What are the limits of the LA’s powers and duties to provide accommodation for children in need under s20 CA? The Supreme Court has ruled that accommodating children under s20 requires real and voluntary delegation of parental responsibility.

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Financial remedies – maintenance

The judge was entitled not to vary an order for periodical payments so as to require H to pay W’s entire rental costs. The parties divorced in 2002 after a 15-year marriage. Under the terms of the consent order, W received a £230,000 lump sum and H would pay her annual periodical payments of £13,200.

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Procedure – standard family orders

In March 2018, the President of the Family Division circulated the second batch of Standard Family Orders (the first batch was issued with his guidance of 30 November 2017). The three further orders are to be added to the compendium of Standard Family Orders.

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Most-read articles

Disputed will – guidance; procedure
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
What should you do if asked for correspondence and other documents in relation to a will you prepared for a client who has since died?  Read more...
MoJ – IT meltdown
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Many litigators are no doubt all too aware of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) January 2019 IT failures that hit the delivery of frontline legal services in some courts.  Read more...
Statutory notices – service
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The SC has widened the scope of the service of statutory notices. Read more...
Part 36 offers – appropriate
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
Part 36 of the CPR allows a claimant or defendant to make an offer of settlement before trial. If the offer is not accepted and the opposing party does not meet the offer at trial, the court may... Read more...
Noise nuisance – liability?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent High Court decision has confirmed that L is not liable for nuisance caused by its T merely because L does not take steps available to prevent the cause of the nuisance, even when L knows... Read more...
RICS – service charges
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
We noted the RICS Code of Practice on service charges in our October 2018 issue, p19; the ‘Service Charges in Commercial Property (1st edition)’ comes into force on 1 April 2019. Read more...
Notice of severance – rectification?
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
A recent case reminds practitioners of the importance of ensuring that a notice of severance accurately records all of the titles intended to be severed. Read more...
Children – parental responsibility; removal of
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
In what circumstances might the court order the removal of PR from the father? The author comments on a recent case which involved a unique set of circumstances justifying the removal of PR.  Read more...
Incompetence – not discrimination
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The CA has held that an incompetent process does not amount to discrimination. Read more...
Sentencing – contempt of court
Wednesday, 13 February 2019
The Court of Appeal has ordered a new trial in relation to a claimant remanded to prison overnight for discussing evidence in a civil case.  Read more...


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