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.

Family Justice Day Success

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Our annual Family Justice Day took place on 9th October and was again a huge success.  The event, at Stamford Court, was well attended by local lawyers, magistrates and judiciary, social workers and cafcass officers, and members of other groups and organisations.


This year’s conference was entitled “Vulnerable Adults and Children: Justice for all?”  The main themes of the day centred around the Court of Protection and adults who are “protected parties” due to mental incapacity, and children who are victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE), a very rapidly growing area of child protection.


The morning was opened by the Midlands Region Family Division Liasion Judge, Mr Justice Michael Keehan.  He spoke of his experience dealing with the case of BCC v Riaz and the issues that led to the making of wide-reaching injunctive orders under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court against several men whom he was satisfied had been involved in a prolonged, organised campaign of sexually exploiting a young, very vulnerable girl.  He also explained his reasons – having balanced all of the competing human rights at play – for allowing the publication of the names of each of those men.  Mr Justice Keehan then described himself as a changed man following two very different cases he had dealt with in which he spoke directly with the subject children.  He said that the discussions he had held had a very significant impact on his perception of the cases.  He is now a strong exponent of the view that Judges should see the children they are dealing with and hear their voices directly.


The conference then heard from Alan Bedford, author of the 2015 Oxfordshire Serious Case Review into child sexual exploitation.  He described the reasons why – only a few years ago – all of the professionals involved in respect of several vulnerable girls over many years missed every opportunity to identify and prevent the serious and sustained trafficking and exploitation of these children by organised gangs of men.  He spoke of the lessons to be learned in this area of child protection, which – it is now becoming all too clear – unfortunately takes place on a massive scale across the whole country.


The conference delegates then took part in two group workshops exploring the following:

Placing disabled children and adoption (Dr Sarah Blunt, University of Bedfordshire)

An introduction to the Court of Protection (Joseph O’Brien, St John’s Buildings Chambers)

Domestic Violence and Learning Disability (Siobhan Hunt, Kent University)

Assessing Learning Disabled Parents (Ward Andrews)

Preventing CSE (Alan Bedford)


Later in the afternoon the conference heard from Alistair Pitblado, the Official Solicitor.  He focussed on the needs of “protected parties” in proceedings, particularly in the light of the significant reduction in the availability of Legal Aid in private law proceedings.  He highlighted many areas of difficulty for parties and judges in such situations and the lacunas that exist in the current funding available either under Legal Aid or from HMCTS, which – in his view – may lead to potential miscarriages of justice.


As ever the day was wrapped up with the raffle.  Prizes were very generously contributed and the raffle raised over £800.


We look forward to seeing you again next year for what is always a fantastic event, exploring hot topics in family law.

Read More

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.



Read More

Tipstaff orders: passport, location, collection

  |   Case Updates, Education & Training, Latest News

The President has announced that with effect from today, Monday 5 October 2015, different versions of the various tipstaff orders will be used in all cases.


As at present these orders will be drawn in every case by the court.


However all practitioners should be aware of the contents of the new forms in case any modifications apt for the case in question are to be proposed.


Here is the link to the website for copies of the new forms:

Read More

Birmingham Law Society Conference – 3rd October

  |   Case Updates, Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Entitled “The Changing Face of Family Law in 2015”, the Birmingham Law Society is holding a conference in conjunction with Resolution on Saturday 3rd October.


Headed by a keynote speech from Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division, there is an impressive lineup of speakers, including Mr Justice Keehan, the Midlands Circuit FDLJ.


Further details and booking information can be found here.

Read More

Family Justice Day: Bookings Opened

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Please find attached a booking form and a programme for this year’s Family Justice Day taking place on Friday 9th October 2015 at Stamford Court, Oadby.


The theme of the day is Vulnerable Adults and Children: Justice for All? The line up of speakers is very impressive and the day will be interesting and informative.


Book now to avoid disappointment, and to get an Early Bird discount before 11th September!

Read More

Leicester Family Justice Day: 9th October 2015 – Register Your Interest

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Please find attached the poster for this year’s LLFJB Family Justice Day.


The theme of the day is ‘Vulnerable Adults and Children: Justice for All?’. The line up of main speakers is, as always, extremely impressive, as are the workshops.


Please register your interest: for the attention of Louise King. Please also take the opportunity to specify your two workshop choices.


Bookings will be taken from 1st September 2015 but we expect demand to be high so please do register your interest asap to secure a place.

Read More

Transparency – Local Practice Guidance

  |   Education & Training, Events, Latest News

Family practitioners will be aware of the increasing demand – from both within the family justice system and outside of it – for “transparency” around decisions made in the Family Court.


HHJ Bellamy has produced a Local Practice Guidance which helpfully summarises the leading principles about transparency and publication of judgments.  Practitioners are encouraged to become familiar with the requirements.  It can be downloaded here and can be found on the Resources page.

Read More