We will keep you informed about training events which may be hosted by the FJB or other organisations, and will make educational material available on this page.

ALC Conference 2016

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

The Association of Lawyers for Children will be hoping to continue in the rich vein of success of their annual conferences, with their upcoming conference in Bristol on 17th-19th November 2016.


Entitled “25 years of the Children Act; More Haste, Less Speed?”, the conference features a packed schedule.  Residential options are available.  The full programme is available here and booking is open online here.


Our very own DFJ HHJ Bellamy is the chair and we hope again for a strong Leicester contingent, as ever.

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LLFJB Family Justice Day – 28th October 2016

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Bookings have opened!


The theme is ‘Perspectives and Assessment of Risk’ and the keynote speaker is Leicester’s very own Will Tyler Q.C. speaking on radicalisation. Please find the poster attached.


Plenary speakers are Professor Jane Barlow on Health Policy in pre-birth and early years, and Pause, a London based charity who focus on programmes to break the cycle of repeated removals.


Please remember to chose two workshops when booking. Here is the booking form.


The day starts with registration from 8.45am and will conclude by 4.30pm. It is worth 6 CPD and tickets are £100 for lawyers and £40 for social care professionals. Programme and workshops attached.


We value your feedback. Please complete the feedback form and return to Louise, below.


Please contact Louise at to book.

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Family Justice Council Guidance in financial remedy proceedings

  |   Case Updates, Education & Training, Latest News

Despite the statutory provisions of section 25 MCA 1973 concerns have been raised about the interpretation of needs within financial remedy proceedings. Such concern is highlighted in the 2014 Law Commission report on Matrimonial Property, Needs and Agreements.


The background to the report is that in 2009 the Law Commission commenced a project to examine the status and enforceability of marital property agreements.  In January 2011 it opened its consultation, reviewing the current law of marital property agreements and discussing options for reform.


The project was extended in 2012 to cover two further issues of financial provision arising on divorce or the dissolution of a civil partnership, namely a targeted review of two aspects of financial provision on divorce and the dissolution of a civil partnership: financial needs and non-matrimonial property.  The project’s aim was to bring clarity and predictability.


Following on from the Law Commission’s report there have been two recent guidance documents released by the Family Justice Council, namely:


  1. Sorting out Finances on Divorce dated April 2016 (aimed at litigants in person) and
  2. Guidance on “Financial Needs” on Divorce dated July 2016 (for the judiciary and legal profession).


Both documents provide accessible and clear examples that make them essential reading for all financial remedy practitioners, providing a helpful refresher on key provisions and cases.

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Transparency Project – CP Conference

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Child protection practitioners of all backgrounds may be interested in the upcoming multi-disciplinary conference being held by The Transparency Project at the Priory Rooms, Birmingham on Friday 3rd June 2016.


Entitled “Where do we go from here?”, the conference features diverse and prominent speakers, with the intention of encouraging open discussion about the child protection system and how we can improve it.


The cost is only £60 for lawyers and £30 for non-lawyers, and is CPD accredited.


Further details, including the itinerary and booking can be found here.

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FGM Toolkit

  |   Education & Training, Latest News

Resolution have published a Female Genital Mutilation Toolkit to enable lawyers to identify women and girls who may be at risk of being made subject to the criminal practice of FGM.


The toolkit is available to download from our INFORMATION CENTRE.  It is an incredibly helpful guide to best practice in assisting clients – in the most sensitive way possible – to be able to disclose that they feel at risk of this happening to themselves or a child.  It signposts other sources of information and some of the signs to look out for as potential indicators of risk.  The toolkit also gives good examples of questioning techniques which could in fact be applied by practitioners to other situations where a person may feel unable to make a disclosure due to certain cultural or religious reasons; for example, forced marriage or honour-based violence.

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Financial Relief: Challenging an Arbitration Award

  |   Case Updates, Education & Training, Latest News

In the recent case of DB v DLJ [2016] EWHC 324 (Fam) Mostyn J considered the merits of an attempt by a wife to set aside an award made at an arbitration hearing on the basis of what she alleged to be a subsequent change of circumstances which vitiated the award. Mostyn J considered various strands of previous case law and practice guidance and summarised the grounds of challenge of such an award.  The test is stringent and it will only be in exceptional circumstances that the court will interfere.


An incredibly helpful summary by Alex Chandler of 1 King’s Bench Walk can be found at Family Law Online here.

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NEW Social Work Evidence Templates (SWET)

  |   Education & Training, Latest News

The Association of Directors of Children’s Services and CAFCASS have – following consultation – issued revised social work evidence templates (SWET).


The use of the SWET is endorsed by the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby.  Practitioners will note that the templates are slightly simplified and incorporate the guidance and relevant “Welfare Checklists” within the documents themselves.


Further details can be found at the ADCS website and the FLBA website.  You can download the templates below and from the PUBLIC LAW section of our INFORMATION CENTRE.




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Transparency Project S.20 Guidance

  |   Education & Training, Latest News

Following from the Section 20 Practice Guidance issued by Leicester DFJ HHJ Bellamy, The Transparency Project have issued their own comprehensive Guidance on the use of voluntary accommodation for children by local authorities.


The Guidance was accompanied by this press release:


Family Court Transparency Charity publish guidance on use of “voluntary” accommodation of children.


The Transparency Project* has today published guidance** relating to voluntary accommodation of children by local authorities. Under section 20 of the Children Act 1989, local authorities may provide accommodation for children who do not have somewhere suitable to live, where their parents consent. Section 20 is not just about housing, but involves taking a child into the care system by agreement rather than by court order. There is thus no judicial scrutiny of what is happening to the child and no court timetable by when final decisions must be made about the child.

The use (and misuse) of section 20 accommodation has been the subject of recent significant judicial criticism and media comment. It is clear that problems arise when children ‘drift’ in the care system under section 20 without proper plans being made for their future, or when parents feel they were under pressure to agree to section 20 accommodation without fully understanding the consequences.

In light of this recent interest in and concern about the use of section 20, The Transparency Project has published guidance about its use. The guidance relates to children under the age of 16.

Sarah Phillimore, trustee of the Project and lead author of the guidance, said

“The issue of ‘parental responsibility’ and who can make decisions for children under section 20 also has the potential to cause serious difficulties as it seems many parents (and some social workers) are not always clear about the impact of section 20 on their ability to exercise parental responsibility for the children.” 

The Transparency Project hope that this guidance will be useful for parents, carers and professionals who are unsure about what section 20 accommodation is, when it should be used and what safeguards should be in place to make sure that parents and carers are fully informed.


The Guidance can be downloaded from The Transparency Project website and can be found in the PUBLIC LAW section of our INFORMATION CENTRE.

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