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Bloomsbury Family Law Briefing: January Teaser

Top cases

Re A & B (care orders and placement orders - failures) [2018] EWFC 72 (30 November 2018), Keehan J – placement order children not adopted: Art 8 rights infringed seriously and IRO role ‘woefully’ inadequately performed.

Re M (A Child) (Secure Accommodation) [2018] EWCA Civ 2707 (6 December 2018) – a secure accommodation order had been correctly made in respect of a 15-year-old girl. Her appeal was dismissed.

Re X (A Child) (No 4) [2018] EWHC 1815 (Fam) (14 December 2018), Sir James Munby as a High Court – refusal to allow parents to withdraw from care proceedings; there had been no ‘miscarriage of justice’ (see eg [52]); and Re X (A Child) (No 5) [2018] EWHC 3442 (Fam) (14 December 2018), Sir James Munby sitting as a High Court judge – refusal to continue a reporting restrictions order in respect of care proceedings to prevent a mother’s self-serving and wrong allegations of a ‘miscarriage of justice’ in earlier care proceedings.

Re A and B (Children) [2018] EWHC 3491 (Fam) (20 December 2018), Sir James Munby as High Court judge – refusal to release of documents in a care case against a non-accredited press representative (Mr Green) because of his earlier behaviour.

British American Tobacco (UK) Ltd & Ors, R v Secretary of State for Health [2018] EWHC 3586 (Admin) (20 December 2018), Green LJ sas a High Court judge – confirming Cape Intermediate Holdings Ltd v Dring (Asbestos Victims Support Group) [2018] EWCA Civ 1795 (31 July 2018): the High Court has jurisdiction to order release of hearings documents at common law and under CPR 1998, r 5.4C.

Administrative law and the Family Division

With the appointment of Mrs Justice Nathalie Lieven to the High Court bench, and her assignment to the Family Division is it time to think how administrative law – principles or actual procedures – can be used to improve life in the family courts. But, what is ‘public law’, or ‘administrative law’ (see eg Administrative Law (2014) Wade & Forsyth (11th Ed) and Jonathan Manning’s Judicial review proceedings: a practitioner's guide (2013), Legal Action Group. Judicial review is a long-standing common law remedy for challenges decisions of public bodies. Procedure is set out in Civil Procedure Rules 1998, Pt 54 which is a lot less daunting than many family practitioners may think.

The outline for the ground for judicial review – the law, as distinct from procedure in Pt 54 – is still best regarded as summarised in Lord Diplock’s speech in Council of Civil Service Unions v Minister for the Civil Service [1984] UKHL 9 [1985] AC 374 at 408, as explained in the article; followed by examples of the working of judicial review and of how it might be used by family judges.

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

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