Welcome to the Roundup, where we correct, clarify and comment on media reports of family lawexplain and comment on published family court judgments, and highlight other transparency news. 


The Independent (2 June 2024) reported that Domestic violence victims left open to attacks as restraining order breach prosecutions plummet for abusers. Thousands of vulnerable women face the threat of a violent domestic abuser returning to the household, it said, after analysis of Ministry of Justice data showed how convictions for breaches of restraining orders had dropped by 44 per cent between 2018 and 2023. Additional data obtained under freedom of information (FOI) laws from 21 police forces showed the number of breaches of restraining orders where the perpetrator was charged had fallen by almost a third in the same period, the report said, adding that ‘Conservative and Labour MPs both raised concerns about the shocking figures and warned restraining orders “are not worth the paper they are written on”.’

The Law Society Gazette (3 June 2024) reported on Wife ordered to pay as divorce costs reach ‘monumental’ £3m. This related to DH v RH (No 4) (Costs) [2024] EWFC 114 in which Mr Justice MacDonald said the costs incurred were a ‘monumental sum’ which were extended by the wife’s ‘egregious and persistent litigation conduct’. The husband’s costs had reached £1m by the final hearing, with the wife’s coming to £1.9m. The judge ordered that the wife pay £200,000 towards the husband’s costs and a further £55,000 to cover specific expenditure he was forced into.

The BBC (4 June 2024) had a story by Sanchia Berg reporting that Abandoned baby Elsa is third newborn deserted by same parents. This related to earlier news coverage of an abandoned baby, with umbilical cord still attached, who had been wrapped in a towel inside a bag, discovered by a dog-walker in January in Newham Park in east London. She was named Elsa after the character in the film Frozen, and is now the subject of care proceedings in East London Family Court. It transpired from DNA tests that she was the third of three siblings similarly abandoned. The other babies – named Harry and Roman – had also been abandoned after birth in the same part of London. Both were found wrapped in blankets. Judge Carol Atkinson allowed the matter to be reported under the current Reporting Pilot, despite objections by the local authority and Cafcass, saying the story was of ‘great public interest’ as babies are very rarely abandoned in modern Britain. The story was also covered in The Guardian

The Standard, which also covered the story, had a separate article by reporter Callum Parke, explaining the background to How journalists were allowed to report Baby Elsa’s family court hearing (4 June 2024). The PA news agency and the BBC applied for the court to vary the terms of the Transparency Order to allow them to report that Elsa had two siblings and other details. There does not appear to be a published judgment yet, but Judge Atkinson is reported as having ruled: 

There is a clear public interest in reporting this story. The abandonment of a baby in this country is a very, very unusual event and there are years where there are no children abandoned, and because of that it is the story of the abandoning of a child that is of public interest. It is, for the same reason, in our current society, of enormous interest and importance that people know that there is a mother and father out there who felt the need to relinquish their children in this way, three times, and that is of considerable interest, it seems to me. If I restrict these rights and the reporting of that story, I think that does impact on public consciousness of these sorts of matters. It restricts the openness of justice.’

The Times (£) (8 June 2024) had a feature, The foundling detective on why parents still abandon babies, following on from the Elsa and her siblings story, describing other (thankfully rare) cases of babies abandoned soon after birth, including interviews with grown up foundlings and Ariel Bruce, a social worker renowned for searching for family members for ITV’s Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace. The article says DNA evidence has made such detective work much easier, but while societal attitudes have changed, the law remains archaic in its treatment of those driven to abandonment, and this can prevent parents from coming forward. 

The Law Society Gazette (6 June 2024) reported the sentence of Three years in prison for man who threw radiator at judge. This related to the case of a disgruntled litigant who, last November, assaulted Judge Patrick Perusko during a hearing in a family court case, throwing a freestanding radiator at him, vaulting the bench and pursuing him down a corridor, pinning him down and punching him in the head. The assailant was sentenced by Mr Justice Goss at Southwark Crown Court. Although assaults on judges are thankfully rare, they do occur and was the reason why, in April (see our May 2024 roundup) the The Judicial Office announced a pilot scheme whereby judges in the Central Family Court in London would now wear robes, supposedly in an effort to increase the formality of the proceedings. The assailant was named as Greg Hazledine in a later version of the story by The Standard, presumably after reporting restrictions had been relaxed. 

The BBC (26 June 2024) reported Constance Marten and Mark Gordon guilty of two charges. Legal restrictions had been lifted after a jury at the Old Bailey had been discharged after failing to reach verdicts on charges of manslaughter by gross negligence, causing or allowing the death of a child, and child cruelty, enabling the press to report that the couple had previously been found guilty of concealing the birth of a child and perverting the course of justice. The couple were arrested following a police manhunt in February 2023 after evidence of a recent birth was found in a burnt-out car near Bolton and the subsequent discovery of a dead baby, named Victoria. It appears that the couple were trying to avoid social services after their four previous children had been removed by the family court. They will now face a retrial on the unresolved charges, possibly in March 2025, pending which they will remain in custody. 

Election pledges on family law

The ICLR blog (26 June 2024) had a roundup of the election manifestos of the main parties, focusing on their proposals relating to law and justice. Most of it was about safer streets and tougher sentencing, as per usual. There was hardly anything about family law or children, though there were some proposals to tackle domestic abuse and violence against women and girls. 

The Conservatives said they would ‘expand our Pathfinder Courts pilot in family court proceedings and continue mediation vouchers to help more families resolve private law child arrangements without an acrimonious court battle’. There was, however, a surprising omission: unlike the last three elections the Conservatives had nothing in their manifesto this time about repealing or reforming the Human Rights Act and nothing about leaving the European Convention on Human Rights or the Strasbourg court, except for a cagily worded comment that ‘If we are forced to choose between our security and the jurisdiction of a foreign court, including the ECtHR, we will always choose our security.’

Labour said they will “fast-track rape cases”, with specialist courts at every Crown Court location in England and Wales. 

The Liberal Democrats proposed embedding domestic abuse specialists in every police force and 999 operator assistance centre to ensure that reports from survivors are handled effectively and sensitively. They also planned to establish a Women’s Justice Board and providing specialist training for all staff in contact with women in the criminal justice system. Of particular interest was the Lib Dems’ proposal to ‘improve transparency throughout the criminal justice process by enabling all victims to request a transcript of court proceedings free of charge’.More specifically on family law, they proposed to implement the Law Commission’s proposals to reform wedding laws, giving couples more choice over how and where their wedding takes place, while respecting religious beliefs and practices and introducing legal recognition of humanist marriages. They also wanted to extend limited legal rights to cohabiting couples, to give them greater protection in the event of separation or bereavement.

Reform UK seemed to have bought up the Conservatives old policies of abolishing the Human Rights Act and having no truck with Strasbourg if it interfered with their plans on immigration. But they did have something interesting to say about the child maintenance system (CMS) which they say is ‘failing children and parents’. ‘It should be a Mediation Service and means-tested child support for parents who cannot arrange finances’.  Reform would also launch ‘a special division of the family court for maintenance and defaults’. There would be shared parental care 50/50 where appropriate, and rights of access for grandparents. They also promise tax breaks to support marriage and help parents choosing to stay at home to look after children, and an inquiry into social media harms to children.

The Greens didn’t say anything about family law, but they did promise to ‘repair and renew our crumbling court system with a £2.5bn investment’. 

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (26 June 2024) reported a call by several charities for whoever forms the next government to Reform family courts to tackle violence against women. Olive Craig, senior lawyer at the legal-advice charity Rights of Women, said ‘the manifestos do not reflect the harm that poor decisions in the family courts can have on the victims of domestic abuse’; Ciara Bergman, CEO of the charity Rape Crisis, said‘it was ‘vital that any party serious about tackling male violence must recognise the “pivotal role” of the family courts in protecting women’; Lucy Hadley, head of policy at Women’s Aid, claims the family courts ‘are not safe for women and children experiencing domestic abuse’. The article cites the ‘pro-contact culture’ identified in the Harm Report, whereby ‘the courts place undue priority on parental involvement in a child’s life, resulting in the systemic minimisation and disbelief of allegations of domestic abuse and child sex abuse’. It urges the new government to implement the report’s recommendations and address “urgent concerns” around allegations of parental alienation and unregulated experts in the family court. 


The BBC (23 June 2024) had a story entitled ‘My kids are in care, don’t judge me’ based on an investigation by BBC Wales social affairs correspondent India Pollock into the transformation of Neath Port Talbot’s children’s services and the reduction in the number of children in care over the last decade. It says head of children and young people services Keri Warren has achieved the transformation by going ‘back to basics’ with ‘good old-fashioned’ social work, focusing on early intervention to support struggling families and trying where possible to keep children together. The resulting film is on iPlayer.

Tortoise Media (25 June 2024) had a podcast An anatomy of two rape trials by Louise Tickle interviewing two women victims whose profoundly unsatisfactory experiences of rape trials led them to pursue complaints to the independent assessor stage, after the Crown Prosecution Service twice refused to uphold all but a single point in their extensive list of criticisms. In one case the prosecutor appears to have missed crucial evidence and failed to challenge the defendant’s apparent good character and in the other case the victim’s treatment as a witness had been barbaric and shaming. 

The Resolution Podcast Talking Family Law had an episode (S3/11) (28 June 2024) discussing What to do when a reporter turns up in court and the importance of transparency, featuring Lucy Reed KC (chair of the Transparency Project) and legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg KC (Hon). They are quizzed about the general trend towards more openness in family cases and some of the concerns of lawyers and litigants who might be nervous about the increased scrutiny of their cases.

The Trial podcast (24 May 2024), which has been following the trial of Constance Marten and Mark Gordon (noted above), had an episode entitle Justice in Secret, broadcast while the jury were still deliberating and before the relaxation of reporting restrictions that prompted the news reports itemised above. The episode also features an interview with Tristan Kirk and an update about the Lucy Letby appeal. The true crime podcast has been following the case from the start and has two more episodes up to and including one about the hung jury. 


In A complex step-parent adoption hearing (13 June 2024) Julie Doughty blogged about a recent case in the family court in south Wales. Although not falling within the Reporting Pilot or legal blogging rules, the judge permitted her to attend and report under an adapted Transparency Order. The major legal issue in this case was the involvement of a biological father who had not seen his child since birth and who was a convicted child sex offender (not relating to the child in the case). He had however become involved in family court proceedings following an application for adoption by the child’s stepfather. This birth father did not have parental responsibility, so his consent to adoption was legally not required, but his parental rights meant he had been notified of the application. (The government’s much-trumpeted proposal (now delayed by the election) to remove parental responsibility from child rapists would therefore have made no difference, because it wouldn’t affect parental rights.)

In The tricky task of making a Child Arrangements Order: directive or undefined? (and how to seek clarification from the judge?) (26 June 2024) Rebecca Wright kindly contributed a guest post on the High Court appeal in AZ v BX (Child Arrangements Order: Appeal) [2024] EWHC 1528 (Fam). In a nutshell, the Family Court judge who had made a child arrangements order in January had not included some specific points, especially regarding holiday periods, to ensure that both parents  could comply. As Rebecca concluded:  

this decision appears to send a message to family practitioners that it is necessary to justify, with specific reference to the particular dynamics of a family, why a broad-brush, undefined approach has been adopted when making a child arrangements order. The judgment also confirms that a joint live- with order is now generally the default position (in cases with no safeguarding concerns and where both parents play an active role in the children’s lives) — even if, or possibly precisely because, the parents’ relationship is acrimonious.


Re T (Children: Publication of Judgment) [2024] EWCA Civ 697. A case on transparency issues – in judgments reported as Re T (A Child) (s9(6) Children Act 1989 Orders: Exceptional Circumstances: Parental Alienation) [2024] EWHC 59 (Fam) and Re T (A Child) (No.2) (Transparency: Publication of the Party’s Names) [2024]EWHC 161 (Fam), Mrs Justice Arbuthnot had ordered that the names of the parents in dispute should in due course be published in full in her judgments, but their children should be referred to by random initials. She had  concluded that the public interest in publication of their names was strong and outweighed the Article 8 rights of the family members. This is was (she said) because publication was consistent with the children’s best interests, as they  would  gain full insight into the case, with which to make informed choices in the future (although the children had told Cafcass they didn’t want anything published at all). The names were to be made public in mid-2026, when the younger of the two children would turn 18. Both parents appealed against publication of their names and were represented by pro bono advocates in the Court of Appeal. Sir Peter Jackson concluded that this was an unusual order and should be set aside. Several of the factors relied upon by the judge didn’t support it, and the court was not in a position to predict what the children’s  situation would be in 2026, so a fair balance could not be struck between the rights and interests that would be engaged.  Basically, the Court of Appeal did not see that naming the parents would add anything to the public interest.

The Father v Worcestershire County Council  [2024] EWCA Civ 694. This is a short judgment which we are noting simply because it features a father who applied to the High Court for a writ of habeas corpus  regarding his children in care, which was heard by Mrs Justice Russell, who gave him short shrift.  The hearing before her was so brief that the Court of Appeal declared it was ‘a complete failure of proper judicial process’ and ‘blatantly unfair’. However, her decision that she had no power to issue a writ for habeas corpus in this case was correct. Fortunately, the court had now been informed that the local authority was increasing contact between the children and their father and that the plan was for them to return to his care. 

Re O (Care Proceedings) [2024] EWCA Civ 696. The issue in this case was whether it had been right for the Family Court judge to exclude a child’s mother as a potential future carer, at a case management stage of proceedings. On appeal, Baker LJ said that although there was authority for ruling out a parent at an early stage, the course taken by this judge (ruling the mother out before she had given evidence at the final hearing, with no notice given and without giving any party an opportunity to make representations) was a serious procedural irregularity leading to possible injustice. The court had not been equipped to make a proper evaluation and the case was returned to a different judge.

Re D and another (Fact finding: Research literature) [2024] EWCA Civ 663. This is a lengthy complex judgement  on issues arising in a case about  head and spine injuries to a seven month old child. The parents had reported that the baby had fallen off a sofa. Both the baby (who recovered from his injuries) and his older sibling were moved to live with a grandparent when care proceedings began.  In an unpublished fact finding judgement from East London Family Court, HHJ Suh had concluded that the injury was non accidental. The Court of Appeal  allowed the appeal by the parents, and the local authority was given leave to withdraw its applications for care orders.  The judgment may be of interest in the current context of the controversy over expert witness evidence in head injury cases. This particular case features  evidence  from five medical experts. Baker LJ was critical of the judge’s over-reliance on her own reading of research papers and he usefully sets out the  correct approach for judges to take in such situations.

Re BC ( Child in Care: Change of Forename and Surname) [2024] EWHC 1639 (Fam). This is quite an unusual judgment to see published, about a looked-after child’s own application to change her names, unsupported by the local authority. The 15 year old girl had settled well with foster carers following a care order 2 ½ years ago, made on the basis of  her father’s conviction for sexual assault offences against her. The judge, Mr Justice Poole, set out the legal framework for change of name (usually a matter of parental responsibility) and the child’s strong statement In support of her application. He concluded that it was in her welfare to change her names in accordance with the serious consideration she had given to the issue and the appropriate choices of name she had made.

AB v Gender Recognition Panel [2024] EWHC 1456 (Fam). This is another unusual case, an appeal to the High Court against the refusal in 2022 to grant a gender recognition certificate to the applicant, who had begun a gender transition process in 2011, when she was 17. However, the Gender Recognition Panel had refused her application on a number of grounds, including  insufficient medical evidence. The appeal was allowed by the President,  and a certificate was issued by the High Court. The judgment is lengthy and technical, but may be helpful for its analysis of the statutory requirements.

A Local Authority v Mother and others [2024] EWFC 158 (B). As the judge, HHJ Willans in West London Family Court himself says, this case has a very sad outcome.  The mother of a two-year-old child had been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder arising from experiences of significant emotional, physical and sexual harm in her country of origin. The local authority plan was for adoption, supported by the Cafcass guardian and the child’s father. The judge concluded that the mother’s deeply ingrained mental health challenges as a result of her life history made it impossible for her to safely care for the child.  The judgment is quite heavily redacted, including, unusually, anonymising the local authority, the psychiatric expert witnesses and the independent social worker. However there is considerable detail of law and practice regarding placement for adoption orders in such circumstances.

Re Z ( A Child) (Adoption or Long term fostering) [2024] EWFC 148 (B). This is another adoption  judgment from HHJ Willans, in very different circumstances. Two years earlier, care proceedings before the same judge had resulted in a child returning to his mother on the basis that there would be no contact with the child’s father, following findings that he had sexually abused other children.  The father had not accepted these findings but the mother told the court she had, and she recognised he was a serious risk.  These judgments are also published – as A Local Authority v GG and FF [2022] EWFC 190 and Re Z (A Child) (Order for no contact) [2023] EWFC 61 (B). However. It had later transpired that the parents had in fact maintained their relationship throughout the earlier case and subsequently,  and that the child had on occasion been left alone with his father. Both parents had rather elaborately deceived the court and all the professionals  The social work assessment for the recent hearing was that the mother clearly adored her son but this did not outweigh her failure to keep him safe from the risks she had knowingly exposed him to.  After analysing the benefits and drawbacks of the adoption and long term foster options, the judge concluded that an adoption plan was necessary,  because the child should be at the centre of a family where he has a legal place and not subject to uncertainty and instability. The judge somewhat optimistically estimated that a timely adoption placement could be found. Although he declined to give a ‘steer’ on  future contact, preferring to leave this to the agencies, the  tone of the judgment gives a strong message that the implications of the father’s behaviour must be overlooked.

MR v EF [2024] EWFC 144 (B). This is an unusual instance of a Family Court level financial remedies judgment being published. The parties had been in a long marriage and the Recorder, Mt Rhys Taylor, took an equal sharing approach. The wife seems to have requested publication of the judgment on TNA, to which the husband objected on the basis that he might be identifiable. Mr Taylor came down on the side of publication, as it is in the public interest to see how the courts work.

A County Council v L and others [2024] EWFC 120. We featured this case in the Court of Appeal in our May Roundup (Re A (A Child) (Fact finding Head Injury) [2024] EWCA  Civ 327). Following the successful appeal against the original fact-finding hearing, the case was returned to Bristol Family Court where Mrs Justice Judd had to decide whether a new fact-finding hearing should be held to try to attribute the cause of the child’s head injury. She concluded that this was not in the child’s welfare. Two years had passed since the events in question and the care the parents are providing – alongside the grandparents the child had been placed with – was universally considered to be good, with no concerns arising at all. The judge took into account all the potential delays and expense of a new hearing, that no one was now calling for.     

Re GG (A Girl) and another [2024] EWFC 101 (B). There’s a tragic history to this case but the notable feature of the judgment is the ‘short judgment’ of 17 paragraphs in plain English that HHJ Vincent has set out before her ‘longer judgment’ of 132 paragraphs. The judge was concerned that two children were rejecting their mother and that although therapy was recommended for them, there were difficulties with funding.  Although the short judgment was presumably written for the children, we very much applaud such an approach for wider public legal education.

A Local Authority v AB & CD [2024] EWFC 143 (B). Two children had been removed from their mother and placed with other family members. The local authority produced evidence that their mother had been publishing information about the court proceedings and the children on Tiktok, in beach of the usual court orders relating to the statutory restrictions, The mother had ignored warnings about this and was not attending court hearings. In her absence, she was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment for contempt of court. The Family Court judge in Portsmouth, HHJ Ellis, set out the relevant law and concluded that a custodial sentence was unavoidable.

F v M [2024] EWFC 128 (B). This judgment by HHJ Owens in Oxford Family Court concludes that three children aged between 11 and 15 who live with their mother should have indirect contact only with their father, on six occasions per year, and includes a 12 month section 91(14) barring order against future court applications. The judge mentions an extraordinarily high level of acrimony between the parents as being harmful to the children, who were expressing strong opposition to any contact at all with their father. She sympathised with the upset and frustration of the father but emphasised that the children’s welfare had to be put above an adult being upset, and that they needed a pause from the ‘profound impact’ the proceedings were having on them.


Nuffield Family Justice Observatory (30 May 2024) published a research briefing paper by Aliya Saied-Tessier on AI in the Family Justice System. It considers the use of AI in various ways such as reviewing, translating or summarising documents, providing initial problem diagnosis or advice (virtual assistants, or chatbots), or supporting decision making. Some things appear to work but others don’t. For example, some courts and children’s social care departments use predictive analytics to assess the likelihood of a child requiring social care interventions, or to assess a young person’s vulnerability to gang exploitation or the risk of sexual abuse. But such models do not appear to perform well. There are risks such as bias in the training data used for machine learning, or of generative AI models offering plausible but bogus citations (hallucinations). There have been calls for transparency about when and how AI has been used, some courts requiring this to be declared when filing case papers. Overall the report is not enthusiastic: ‘At the moment there is not a vision for how those in the family justice system, both families and professionals, can safely harness the benefits of AI while being protected from the risks.’

The Law Society Gazette (3 June 2024) reported that Support Through Court have worked with the legal training and information company Bond Solon to create a Video guide for unrepresented parties in civil and family court. The video is narrated by solicitor Mark Solon and uses plain language and subtitles to reinforce its advice. It is very clear and helpful in explaining to first-time litigants what to expect when they come to court and how to get the best out of their hearing. You can view the video via YouTube here

The Times (£) (6 June 2024) reported that Judicial complaints office rejects data watchdog ruling, after the Information Commissioner’s Office rejected the position maintained by the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office (JCIO) that it was exempt from having to respond to freedom of information requests. The JCIO maintained that despite the ICO ruling its ‘position remains that it is not a public authority within the meaning of the Freedom of Information Act 2000’. The FOI requests concerned the number of complaints against judges, which the JCIO refused to reveal. 

The Paul Foot Award, awarded by Private Eye on 11 June 2024, was won by Tristan Kirk, courts reporter for The Standard, for his investigation into the Single Justice Procedure, ‘Conveyer Belt Justice’. Kirk was praised for his unrelenting coverage of the controversial procedure by which a single magistrate, in a remote sitting, can convict long lists of defendants who have pleaded guilty by post or online (often without fully understanding the implications of doing so, or that they might have a defence) or have failed to respond to a notice within 21 days. Kirk’s reporting highlighted a number of examples of cases where a defendant was either vulnerable or might have had a good defence, or been treated more fairly, in a system that seem more concerned with rapid disposal than individual justice: in short, a “conveyor belt” approach. Listen to his interview on the Private Eye Page 94 Podcast. 

The BBC local news from Bedforshire had a report cowritten by Brian Farmer, formerly the family courts correspondent for the Press Association in London, with Ben Schofield, on Teen murderer who bought 79 blades online named. The case concerned 17-year-old Rayis Nibeel, described as ‘a teenage drug dealer who bought 79 knives, swords and machetes in the months before stabbing a man to death’, who had been convicted of murder. Mrs Justice Foster lifted an order made under section 45 of the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999 which had prevented journalists revealing his identity, accepting the journalists’ argument that it was in the public interest to name Nibeel, along with his now 18-year-old co-defendant, Umer Choudhury. The report explains the law and the process in helpful detail, and links to the judge’s order as published on the Judiciary website: R v Nibeel and Choudhury (Decision on Application to lift Reporting Restrictions) (20 May 2024). 

The Review (Issue 230), Resolution’s bi-monthly magazine for members, featured an interview with Louise Tickle and a report on the transparency pilot in Wales, as well as a glowing book review by David Emmerson of Anthony Gold Solicitors, of Transparency in the Family Courts, by Doughty, Reed & Magrath (Bloomsbury, 2024) which they have kindly permitted us to reproduce here. Read the review.

The Law & Religion UK blog had a post, Transparency of the House of Bishops (24 June 2024) discussing the work of the Transparency Group in the General Synod of the Church of England, and the steps the House of Bishops has approved to be undertaken to increase transparency. The post contains a summary of the recommendations from a paper, Transparency of the work of the House of Bishops (GS Misc 1387). On of them is that ‘The House of Bishops will adopt a “maximum transparency” approach so that the analysis and information that the House has had to make decisions will be made available’.

Children & Young People Now (27 June 2024) advertised The Big Debate: Will family court reporting lead to better decisions for children? Featuring Somia Siddiq, executive committee secretary of the Association of Lawyers for Children, Lisa Harker, director of Nuffield Family Justice Observatory, and Yvonne Wilson, chair of children’s guardians body Nagalro, discussing the benefits of greater transparency and the effectiveness of the current Reporting Pilot. There is a brief summary of the panellists’s views. 


Isle of Man

The BBC reported that Adoption law changes to have ‘significant’ impact in the Isle of Man, if regulations relating to the Adoption Act 2021 due to go before Tynwald were approved and came into effect in July. The the new regulations aim to speed up the decision-making and process of adoption, which is currently governed by legislation from 1984, and provide ongoing support once the child is settled into their adoptive family. The regulations would also introduce an independent review mechanism enabling decisions by Manx Care to be challenged to make the process more ‘robust and transparent’, according to Health and Social Care Minister Lawrie Hooper.


The BBC reported on Defence lawyer fined over rape survivor questioning. A Faculty of Advocates committee found Lorenzo Alonzi’s behaviour while questioning a woman during a rape trial  ‘repeatedly crossed the line’ and amounted to unsatisfactory professional conduct in six of 11 complaints made by rape survivor Ellie Wilson. The complaint related to a rape trial at the High Court in Glasgow in 2022 at which Mr Alonzi was acting on behalf of the accused, Daniel McFarlane, who was convicted of raping Ms Wilson and sentenced to five years in prison.


Irish Legal News (12 June 2024) reported that Action promised on use of ‘parental alienation’ concept in family courts, after Justice minister Helen McEntee said ministers had approved reforms to ensure that “issues like parental alienation cannot take hold and cannot be part of any decisions that are taken in a private court”. The article noted that ‘A report commissioned by the Department of Justice and published over a year ago warned that parental alienation is a “highly controversial” concept and the use of the term in Irish legal settings should be treated with serious caution’.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.

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