The Practical Lawyer


Children – Brussels II

Article 8 of the Brussels II Regulation (Council Regulation EC/2201/2003) provides that courts of a member state shall have jurisdiction over a child who is habitually resident in that state at the time the court is seised.

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Local authority duty to accommodate – child requiring help

A recent decision of the Court of Appeal, concerning the inter-relationship of s17 and s20 Children Act 1989 with the Housing Act 1988, appears to run contrary to the judgments given in a series of cases.

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Wasted costs order – courts’ approach

’A wasted costs application is a punitive remedy to enable a litigant to recover costs not otherwise recoverable caused by a solicitor’s improper conduct.’ This is Sumner J’s definition in a recent appeal against a wasted costs order made against a firm.

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Placement – three stages

There are three necessary stages in the statutory placement of a child: (i) it has to be considered whether adoption is in the best interests of the child; if it is, the local authority has to apply for a placement order; (ii) once a placement order is granted, it is the responsibility of the adoption panel to consider whether the adopter is approved; (iii) if so, it has to be decided whether the child is matched to the adopter.

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Expert in children case – referral

Where, in a children case, a professional, eg a child psychiatrist not treating the child, is asked, for the purposes of the proceedings, to make an assessment of him and he advises that the child should obtain psychiatric or other treatment which he is not currently obtaining, r10.20A(3) of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991 entitles a party to send that sort of report to the appropriate local resource in order to obtain treatment for that child.

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Adoption – president’s Guidance

The president of the Family Division’s Guidance, Listing Final Hearings in Adoption Cases, clarifies the legal requirements and practical arrangements for final hearings in adoption applications.

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Official Solicitor – regulations

The Family Procedure (Adoption) (Amendment) Rules 2008 amend rule 55(1)(a) (power of court to make an order appointing the Official Solicitor as litigation friend) to clarify that such an order may be made only if the Official Solicitor consents.


Forced marriage – regulations

The Family Proceedings (Amendment) Rules 2008 (SI 2008/2446) amend the regs so as to update service of the application for a forced marriage protection order, transfer of proceedings and orders for disclosure against a person not a party.


Forced marriage – Practice Direction

The Family Proceedings (Allocation to Judiciary) (Amendment) Directions 2008 come into force on 25 November 2008 and apply to forced marriage cases. They amend the Schedule to the Family Proceedings (Allocation to Judiciary) Directions 1999.


Non-accidental injury – parents win damages

A baby had been removed from the care of her parents under an interim care order after she suffered a serious and unexplained fracture. The medical evidence at the time was that the injury had not been accidental.

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