Updates from the Bench

HHJ Bellamy Newsletter 21

  |   Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

The most recent newsletter from HHJ Bellamy can be downloaded here.


As ever, the newsletter is essential reading for local practitioners and covers issues such as the establishment of the Court of Protection in Leicester, the importance of bundle compliance, (don’t forget our “quick look” guide), radicalisation in the Family Court, pre-proceedings and the increase in the caseload of local care proceedings.



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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.



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Listing Contested Hearings in Leicester

  |   Latest News, Updates from the Bench

HHJ Bellamy has today issued a practice note to have immediate effect with respect to listing contested hearings in the Family Court at Leicester.


All local practitioners must read the note and be aware of its requirements as there are significant obligations on the parties as to what information must be before the court prior to listing any contested hearing.


The practice note can be downloaded here and can be found on our Resources page.

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His Honour Judge Bellamy’s latest Newsletter – Mediation Special

  |   Education & Training, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Please find attached a copy of His Honour Judge Bellamy’s latest Newsletter.


This newsletter addresses mediation in the family courts. The newsletter contains some very helpful contributions from local mediators and practitioners.


Furthermore, the newsletter raises awareness of the mediation services available locally for the benefit of children and families in the local area.


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New Practice Note – Experts

  |   Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Mr Justice Keehan – Midlands Family Division Liaison Judge – issued on Friday 15th May 2015 the attached Practice Note to the local judiciary.


The note serves as a timely reminder as to the importance of instructing experts in family proceedings only when necessary to resolve the proceedings justly, and gives guidance as to specific instances when experts are or are not likely to be required.


Practitioners should read the note and expect additional scrutiny from Judges and Magistrates in respect of any applications to rely on expert evidence pursuant to s.13 CFA 2014, particularly when the application relates to a psychological report or an independent social work assessment.



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Re FM (A Child: fractures: bone density) [2015] EWFC B26 – Recent judgment of the DFJ HHJ Bellamy

  |   Case Updates, Latest News, Updates from the Bench

Please find attached the judgment of HHJ Bellamy in Re FM (A Child: fractures: bone density) [2015] EWFC B26 handed down on 12th March 2015.


The case involved a child who had sustained a fracture to the left and to the right distal tibia. The case involved some disagreement between the medical experts as to whether the child was predisposed to bone fragility. After hearing the evidence of the medical experts, the judge could not be satisfied on the balance of probabilities that the child’s injuries were non-accidental injuries.


The case provides a very helpful overview of the legal issues to be determined when considering alleged non-accidental injuries and the approach to be adopted. The judge also cited the case of Re L and M (Children) [2013] EWHC 1569 and the principles set out by Baker J to assist when considering cases of alleged non-accidental injury.

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