Updates from the Bench

Consultations – Bundles and Adoption Hearings

  |   Latest News, Updates from the Bench

President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has issued two consultation documents in respect of which he invites responses to andrew.shaw@judiciary.gsi.gov.uk before 1st March.


The first, in respect of proposals to curtail the length of certain case management and evidential documents in order to aid compliance with the 350-page bundle limit under PD27A, can be downloaded here.


The second, in respect of proposed new guidance for the listing of adoption hearings, can be downloaded here.


Responses are encouraged, as your views will be taken into account by the President when redrafting relevant practice directions.

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Local PD27A Compliance

  |   Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Leicester DFJ HHJ Bellamy has recently published the following judgment: Re D and R (Children) [2015] EWFC B198


Local practitioners should note the post-script in which HHJ Bellamy states his intention that from 1st January 2016 all lawyers responsible for filing a court bundle for any hearing will be required to complete a certificate of compliance in order to confirm that the bundle complies fully with PD27A.


You may wish to re-familiarise yourself with the Practice Direction and our “Quick Look” Guide.

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HHJ Bellamy Newsletter 21

  |   Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

The most recent newsletter from HHJ Bellamy can be downloaded here.


As ever, the newsletter is essential reading for local practitioners and covers issues such as the establishment of the Court of Protection in Leicester, the importance of bundle compliance, (don’t forget our “quick look” guide), radicalisation in the Family Court, pre-proceedings and the increase in the caseload of local care proceedings.



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RADICALISATION CASES IN THE FAMILY COURTS – Guidance issued by the President

  |   Case Updates, Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Please note the important Guidance issued by Sir James Munby President of the Family Division on 8 October 2015 entitled – RADICALISATION CASES IN THE FAMILY COURTS.


Within the Guidance, the President addresses the recent increase in the “numbers of children cases coming before the Family Division and the Family Court where there are allegations or suspicions: that children, with their parents or on their own, are planning or attempting or being groomed with a view to travel to parts of Syria controlled by the so-called Islamic State; that children have been or are at risk of being radicalised; or that children have been or at are at risk of being involved in terrorist activities either in this country or abroad.”


The President gives guidance about potential applications in such cases, for example care proceedings or the inherent jurisdiction; and also considers the potential applicants in inherent jurisdiction cases. The Guidance  states that all such cases are to be heard by High Court Judges of the Family Division, given the complexity of such cases. It also highlights the importance of cooperation in such cases between safeguarding agencies and the family and criminal justice system.


A helpful list of cases is attached to the Guidance addressing key aspects of cases involving such issues. Advocates appearing on behalf of parties involved in such cases should ensure that they are able to address such matters in line with this Guidance and the relevant case law.



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Listing Contested Hearings in Leicester

  |   Latest News, Updates from the Bench

HHJ Bellamy has today issued a practice note to have immediate effect with respect to listing contested hearings in the Family Court at Leicester.


All local practitioners must read the note and be aware of its requirements as there are significant obligations on the parties as to what information must be before the court prior to listing any contested hearing.


The practice note can be downloaded here and can be found on our Resources page.

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His Honour Judge Bellamy’s latest Newsletter – Mediation Special

  |   Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Please find attached a copy of His Honour Judge Bellamy’s latest Newsletter.


This newsletter addresses mediation in the family courts. The newsletter contains some very helpful contributions from local mediators and practitioners.


Furthermore, the newsletter raises awareness of the mediation services available locally for the benefit of children and families in the local area.


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New Practice Note – Experts

  |   Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Mr Justice Keehan – Midlands Family Division Liaison Judge – issued on Friday 15th May 2015 the attached Practice Note to the local judiciary.


The note serves as a timely reminder as to the importance of instructing experts in family proceedings only when necessary to resolve the proceedings justly, and gives guidance as to specific instances when experts are or are not likely to be required.


Practitioners should read the note and expect additional scrutiny from Judges and Magistrates in respect of any applications to rely on expert evidence pursuant to s.13 CFA 2014, particularly when the application relates to a psychological report or an independent social work assessment.



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