There were more cases with a European theme too this month, not just the human rights aspect.
The Maintenance Regulation was the focus of the CJEU in MS v PS (Case C-283/16)
when it ruled that
a maintenance creditor (in this case a mother living in Germany trying to enforce a German child maintenance order against the father who was living in England) could apply directly to the competent authority and did not need to submit an application through the Central Authority. This clarifies the procedure - an application can be issued directly in the court with jurisdiction in respect of maintenance obligations (in this case the Family Court) and it does not need to first be lodged with the central authority (eg. the Lord Chancellor, for forward transmission to the Family Court through the Reciprocal Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Unit (REMO)).
The Maintenance Regulation featured again in the case of W, V v X (C‑499/15)
, together with Brussels IIA.
A father applied to vary a Lithuanian court order concerning parental responsibility and maintenance obligations in respect of his child. The child was at that point living in the Netherlands. The CJEU held that the Lithuanian courts no longer had jurisdiction as the habitual residence of the child was in another Member State.
The inherent jurisdiction
A rare occasion where the court decided to invoke the inherent jurisdiction based on the children’s nationality (rather than habitual residence) arose in Re K and D (Wardship Without Notice Return Order)
 EWHC 153 (Fam).
were British citizens and had lived in England with their mother until she took them to Northern Cyprus. The children had been the subject of child protection plans in England and the local authority’s case was that the mother had taken them with the sole purpose of avoiding the involvement of professionals, by taking the children to an area outside the province of the Hague Convention 1980 or Brussels IIA. The court decided that in the particular and unusual circumstances of the case the inherent jurisdiction should be invoked as the children required the protection of the court because there was no one in the area to exercise parental responsibility for them and they were in effect in administrative limbo, separated from each other and without access to services to protect their welfare. The case could proceed without notice to the mother because there was clear evidence that giving her notice would result in a significant risk that she would try to frustrate the orders by persuading the children to abscond ahead of the orders being implemented.
The inherent jurisdiction was invoked again (by the same judge) in the case of Re SL (Permission to Vaccinate)
 EWHC 125 (Fam). The court acceded to an application by a local authority under the inherent jurisdiction for a declaration that it was in a child's best interests to receive two immunisations where the mother was opposing. The balance of risk as between administering the vaccines to the child and not doing so plainly favoured immunisation.
In other news:The right choice? New research identifies impact of shortened care proceedings
- The introduction of the 26 week timetable for care proceedings has halved their average length. Research, led by Professor Judith Masson, provides insight into the impact this is having on the decisions being made on behalf of vulnerable children.Children have no right to speak to family judges
- Natasha Phillips - Despite promising to give children a greater voice in the Family Court the government still seems to be doing little on this front. The latest disappointment comes after government spokesmen confirmed that the Ministry of Justice never enacted a policy allowing children to speak to judges. FDAC - a trauma-informed service
- Dr Sheena Webb and Tom Borro - This is the third in a series of blogs about FDAC and the work of the FDAC specialist teams. In this blog we want to talk about trauma and the impact it has on many, if not all, of the parents who come into FDAC. A judgment of words and numbers
- Jason Hadden MBE - The government's bill allowing for it to trigger Article 50 had but two clauses and 137 words (this article has three times as many), yet in many quarters was criticised for its brevity.New Guidance on MCA and DoLS
- Dr Sheena Webb and Tom Borro - Following the Court of Appeal judgment in Ferreira v HM Senior Coroner for Inner South London  EWCA Civ 31, regarding deprivation of liberty (DoLS) in an intensive care unit (ICU), the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and the Intensive Care Society have released summary guidance on the Mental Capacity Act and DoLS in ICU settings.Fairness, needs and stockpiling: AB v FC  EWHC 3285 (Fam)
- Kathryn Mason - At a final hearing, the court considered the appropriate needs for the wife of a professional footballer in circumstances where there was limited capital, the marriage had been short and there was no marital acquest. Wyatt v Vince - Vindicating post-separation contributions
- Philip Cayford QC, Simon Calhaem and Miles Geffin - The decision of the Supreme Court clarifies the law on strike-out in family proceedings and provides clear guidance to lower courts on the efficient case management of financial remedy proceedings. Do litigants in person have an unfair advantage?
- Jason Hadden MBE - It has been very clear for some time that the number of litigants in person (LIPs) appearing before the civil and family courts without legal representation has increased significantly. Third party disclosure: public interest immunity and closed material procedures
- David Burrows - The case of Re C (A Child)  EWHC 3171 (Fam) (case heading: London Borough of Tower Hamlets v M and F and Others), Pauffley J raises a number of issues over where the welfare of a child may be treated as in conflict with the needs of national security (as asserted by SO15). The impact of contact and living arrangements on a child's psychological development
- Hannah Perry - Research tells us that children of divorced parents may be affected by a higher than average incidence of depression and mood disorders, and also achieve less academic success than their peers from intact families. Parents' and children's rights and good practice: section 20
- Penelope Welbourne - A series of cases decided from 2012 onwards has highlighted failings in local authority practice when accommodating children under s 20 of the Children Act 1989. 3-person IVF approved by HFEA - what does this mean?
- Louisa Ghevaert - On 15 December 2016, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) approved the use of a new medical technique, known as mitochondrial donation, at UK fertility clinics.Re TJ (Relinquished Baby: Sibling Contact)  EWFC 6
- The declaration sought by the adoption agency was granted. Bezeliansky v Bezelianskaya  EWCA Civ 76
- The husband's appeal from a variation of the consent order and a suspended committal order was dismissed. Egeneonu v Egeneonu  EWHC 43 (Fam)
- The mother's application for the father's extradition from Nigeria was dismissed. Re A and others (Children) (Adoption)  EWHC 35 (Fam)
- The President held that Scottish permanence orders should be recognised by the English court. Re MM (a patient) Teresa Kirk v Devon County Council  EWCA Civ 34
- The appeal from a decision requiring the man's repatriation to the UK was allowed. J v B and The Children (Ultra-Orthodox Judaism: Transgender)  EWFC 4
- A transgender father's application for direct contact with his five children was refused and indirect contact ordered.
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