About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Cafcass summoned on waiting times for Guardians

The head of the children’s court agency was summoned by a judge yesterday to explain “deplorable and entirely unacceptable” case delays after the Baby Peter scandal: see this report in the Times

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

BNP on Family Law

Check out Lucy Reed's interesting post on BNP policy & family law .

Baby P

Lots of news about Baby P and the latest reports over at Community Care .

Row over computer expert & evidence

A chief constable could face jail and an end to his 35-year police career for defying a High Court order to return computers suspected of holding a huge collection of child abuse images to a controversial expert: see the full story in the Times .

Local authority's housing duties towards children

In the case of R (on the application of G) v Southwark {2009] UKHL 26 the House of Lords has decided that homeless children should be looked after by local authorities’ children services departments rather than by housing services.

Comments on the case can be found in the Solicitors Journal and Nearly Legal

Friday, 15 May 2009

Baby P: a never ending story

From the Times the inquiry into NHS failings, conducted by the Care Quality Commission and published this week, concluded that doctors and other health professionals had contact with the little boy 35 times but every chance to raise the alarm was missed. Any one of these professionals could have picked up that he was suffering abuse if they had been “particularly vigilant” and gone “beyond what was required” by the system, the health regulator said.

The Times also summarises the reports published so far .

Evening Standard reported that a senior doctor told how he had repeatedly warned about failings at the child protection clinic which missed the injuries that killed Baby P. Professor Sundara Lingam told the Standard that he had written a series of letters raising the alarm over problems at the clinic in St Ann's Hospital in Haringey when he was director of community child health and follows it up today with a story about the alleged spin campaign by GOSH with Lynne Featherstone,MP for Haringey where Baby P lived, saying that the children's hospital's chief executive, Jane Collins, “misled” the public after revelations about problems at the child protection clinic in St Ann's Hospital, Tottenham, which Great Ormond Street runs.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Laming 2: the Government Response

No sooner had I finished the last post when the Government response to Laming 2 was published on the DCSF website.

Post Baby P update

Baby P news continues at a rate of knots and we can now apparently refer to him as Baby Peter.

Community Care covers the Government's response to Laming 2, following an interview with Moira Gibb. The official response is expected later today.


The Mail gets outraged by the conviction of the boyfriend for the rape of a 2 year old and his apparent intention to appeal.

The Times reports that Haringey will do more navel gazing on how this happened and was not spotted by social workers.

Community Care reports that another 4 social workers have been sacked by Haringey.

Laming himself calls on child protection managers to protect their staff and shoulder more responsibility.

Members of the public would be appointed to child protection boards in an attempt to avoid more scandals like the death of Baby P says the Telegraph

Monday, 4 May 2009

Costs Orders - The Movie

If you like a good juicy costs judgment you'll love this (Hashem v Shayif & Ors [2009] EWHC 864 (Fam) (17 April 2009)). More twists and turns than a Hollywood blockbuster and a cast almost as big.

Although I don't generally aspire to read costs judgments (or any judgments at all) on a bank holiday Monday this is actually surprisingly interesting and informative, and deals with a number of points arising from costs issues involving third parties (family company and and the children of the family) arising from both ancillary relief proceedings and related Chancery proceedings, costs orders against one party that he should pay the costs of the other party incurred in other litigation, and costs orders where the paying party is publicly funded.