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Family Law

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06 FEB 2014

CASE MANAGEMENT: A Local Authority v DG and Others [2014] EWHC 63 (Fam)

(Family Division, Keehan J, 24 January 2014)

The mother of a 3-year-old child was stabbed to death by the father in the presence of the child. The father was charged with murder and remanded in custody. The child was made subject to a series of interim care orders and placed with foster carers. The local authority sought findings of fact that the father killed the mother and that he had been violent to her on other occasions.

There had been a wholesale failure by the parties to comply with case management directions. The judge endorsed the comments of Sir James Munby, P in Re W [2013] EWCA Civ 1227 as to the systematic failure of the profession to fail to comply with court orders and directions.

Attention was drawn to the Protocol and Good Practice Model issued by the President of the Family Division, the Senior Presiding Judge and the Director of Public Prosecutions which provided comprehensive guidance on procedures to be followed when there were linked care proceedings and criminal proceedings, in particular in relation to disclosure.

The judge provided further guidance to family and criminal practitioners on the issues which had arisen in the case and warned family practitioners that despite public funding issues and pressures of work the court would no longer tolerate a failure to comply with court orders


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