Hearing of appeals in family proceedings
The last year has seen three developments of varying authority in relation to open justice in family proceedings, mostly in appeals, namely:
- Family Procedure Rules 2010 (FPR 2010), r 30.12A (in force from 10 December 2018) which, says its heading, enables family proceedings appeals courts ‘to order that [appeals] be held in public’;
- FPR 2010 PD30B Practice Direction 30B: Appeals: Transparency (in force, 3 October); and
- President’s guidance as to reporting in the family courts, 3 October 2019.
The rule change enables appeals (otherwise dealt with in private) to be in open court; and the practice direction gives more back-ground as to how r 30.12A will be applied (with provision for restrictions where directed). The President’s guidance deals with aspects of publicity in family proceedings generally; and is considered here only as far as it relates to appeals.
Top five cases
Plymouth City Council v Wilkins & Ors  EWFC 60 (14 June 2019), Baker LJ as a Family Division judge – Review of fact-finding in CA 1989, Pt 4 proceedings where subsequent criminal proceedings resulted in the mother only being found guilty.
S (A Child: Adequacy of Reasoning)  EWCA Civ 1845 (31 October 2019) – Appeal in care proceedings allowed where judge’s conclusions were inadequately reasoned.
Jet 2 Holidays Ltd v Hughes & Anor  EWCA Civ 1858 (8 November 2019) – An untrue ‘statement of truth’ executed by parties in PAP negotiations could form a basis for committal proceedings (CPR 1998, r 32.14).
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (Championships) Ltd v McKay (No. 2)  EWHC 3065 (QB) (15 November 2019), Chamberlain J – Review of law on legal aid for committal proceedings.
Potanin v Potanina  EWHC 2956 (Fam) (8 November 2019), Cohen J – H’s successful application by husband to set aside permission to W, on her without notice application, to apply for financial relief pursuant to MFPA 1984, Pt 3 after overseas divorce.
The Family Law Briefing is part of the Bloomsbury Law Online Service. The full briefing is available here.