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APPEALS/CARE/FAMILY PROCEEDINGS: Re S (Child Proceedings: Urgent Appeals) EWCA Civ 958

Date:22 AUG 2007

(Court of Appeal; 22 August 2007; Keene, Thomas and Wall LJJ)

The court issued guidance to the legal profession on practice in urgent appeals concerning children. In the current case there had been a lack of proper case management. The judge could and should have been asked for a stay or for a delay in implementation of the order for removal of the child, and if the judge had refused to do either of these things counsel for father could have made immediate contact with court by telephone. It was highly likely that the court would have listed the application for permission to appeal as a matter of urgency; whether permission to appeal had been granted or refused, the court would have been likely to give robust case management directions designed to ensure that the substantive proceedings were heard swiftly. The court would invite the President to make the relevant paragraphs on the issue from Wilson LJ's judgment in Re A (Residence Order) [2007] EWCA Civ 899, together with excerpts from the instant judgment, available to the FLB and Resolution, and to disseminate them among the judiciary hearing family cases. The court also expressed concern that the case had raised various questions as to the proper administration of justice in family cases in part of the western circuit.