Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: January Teaser

Top cases

R v [G and H] Secretary of State for the Home Department (Disclosure of Asylum Records) [2019] EWHC 3147 (Fam) (18 November 2019), MacDonald J – Correct legal principles and procedure to be followed where a party seeks disclosure and inspection from the successful asylum claim of the other party.

Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens & Ors, R (ota) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 3536 (Admin) (19 December 2019), Jay J – The Home Secretary’s regulations which required a fee of £1,012 for registration of children as citizens were unlawful.

Bates & Ors v the Post Office Ltd (No 6: Horizon Issues) [2019] EWHC 3408 (QB) (16 December 2019), Fraser J: [71] ‘Submissions should not contain evidence, or positive evidential assertions, that are not present in the evidence served in the trial. This is a fundamental point’.

Behbehani v Behbehani [2019] EWCA Civ 2301 (20 December 2019) – In proceedings for enforcement of a 2008 unpaid lump sum order (of £20 million), the judge had ordered appointment of a receiver, which was later set aside. Wife’s appeal allowed. If non-party wanted to say they owned the company they could join in the enforcement proceedings and say so.

Re Z [2019] EWCOP 55 (20 December 2019), Morgan J – Z lacked capacity to manage his affairs. Consideration of open justice principles in Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (Asbestos Victims Support Groups Forum UK) [2019] UKSC 38, [2019] 3 WLR 429 (29 July 2019) where Z’ son applied for case material. Application refused.

Judge’s subservience to administrative decisions

After the concern raised over Conservative party references to judicial review reform in their recent manifesto, it is worth recalling the extent to which judges in the family law fields already accept their subservience to legislative powers of Parliament. This is of special significance in, for example, dealings with local authority children’s or housing departments, Legal Aid Agency, the Home Office and Child Maintenance Service on family breakdown.

The article looks at how much, in the family administrative law field, judges already recognise the extent to which they must respect the executive – ie the government – in the form of all relevant public bodies. Judges do not like judicial review to be used as politics by another means. Some years before Children Act 1989 this could already be seen in the court’s disapproval of attempts to challenge local authority decisions by wardship proceedings (A v Liverpool City Council [1982] AC 363, [1981] 2 WLR 948; Re W (A Minor) (Wardship: Jurisdiction) [1985] AC 791). Other examples can be found in housing law (Holmes-Moorhouse v Richmond upon Thames London Borough Council [2009] UKHL 7, [2009] 1 WLR 413) and more recently in asylum with child arrangements order proceedings (F v M & Anor [2017] EWHC 949 (Fam), [2018] 2 WLR 178, [2018] 1 FLR 1217; R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Disclosure of Asylum Records) [2019] EWHC 3147 (Fam) (18 November 2019), MacDonald J).

These and other cases explain the respect judges must have – and do have – in many instances for administrative decisions which cannot be challenged further in the High Court.

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

David Burrows

Written by David Burrows

Subscribe to the Bloomsbury Professional Law Newsletter

Law Online

Bloomsburyprofessionallaw Online research for solicitors and barristers practising in English law Free Trial

Need Help?

Bloomsburyprofessionallaw If you need any help with finding publications or just ask a question. Talk to an Advisor: 01444 416119
or send us a message