Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: April Teaser

Top five cases

LR v A Local Authority & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 525 (31 January 2019) – Foster carer (LR) appeal: order for 20-month-old child to be sent to Poland stayed. Judge had failed to take account of possibility of the child being adopted by LR.

Re B (A Child: Post-Adoption Contact) [2019] EWCA Civ 29 (30 January 2019) – The presumption remained, after re-statement of the law in Adoption and Children Act 2002, s 51A, that post adoption contact will only be in extremely unusual circumstances.

Re P & N (Section 91(14): Application for Permission To Apply: Appeal) [2019] EWHC 421 (Fam) (27 February 2019), Cobb J – Procedure for the court to consider a s 91(14) restricted parent’s application for permission to proceed with a child arrangements order application.

Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Ltd v Zafar [2019] EWCA Civ 392 (27 March 2019) – Expert witness committed to prison (suspended) for false statement. Guidance as to correct approach to for any false statement of truth (per CPR 1998, r 22.1(1); FPR 2010, r 17.6(1).

Cowan v Foreman & Ors [2019] EWHC 349 (Fam) (25 February 2019), Mostyn J – Claimants must observe statutory time limits (six months from grant): Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants). Any delay to be measured in weeks – or months, at most.

Family law guidance: ‘A jungle of quasi-legislation’

In the leading text-book Administrative Law (2014) Wade & Forsyth (11th Ed) at p 732, in a chapter on administrative legislation the authors explain their subject matter – part of which is referred to in the BFLB article – as ‘a jungle of quasi-legislation’: ie practice directions, guidances, protocols and so forth. The article deals with ‘judicial guidance’ and ‘practice guidance’ issued by senior judges such as the Master of the Rolls and the President of the Family Division. It considers how authoritative is each form of judgment.

The article first explains, briefly, the difference between the formal practice direction (issued with the concurrence of the Lord Chief Justice) and the variety of:

  • Judicial guidance (law) – given by the court following argument on a particular issue (see eg the Zafar case above);
  • Practice guidance – provided, in this case, by the President of the Family Division on a non-statutory – ie a ‘non-democratic’ – basis; and
  • Judicial guidance in passing (obiter) – where a judge as a part of his or her judgement but nothing directly to do with the decision made by the court, issues guidance in passing and on a non-binding basis.

 The Family Law Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.

David Burrows

Written by David Burrows

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