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In the light of the recent decision of Munby J in the case of Re M and N  EWHC 2281 (Fam), (Family Division; Munby J; 6 October 2008) , if a parent in family proceedings cases is also involved in some other relevant matter, such as an asylum or immigration dispute with the Home Office, criminal proceedings or an investigation, or a housing dispute, the family practitioner has an ongoing duty to remain au courant with what was going on in that other matter, even if it was being handled by different professionals.
In the event of any difficulties in obtaining relevant information, prompt consideration has to be given to approaching the court with a view to inviting the court either to make a peremptory order for delivery of a solicitor's file or an order pursuant to the President's Protocol: Communicating with the Home Office 28 February 2006.
If the outcome of the family proceedings was dependent upon or likely to be affected by the decision of a third party, consideration should be given at the earliest possible stage as to whether and if so how the third party decision maker should be brought into some appropriate form of direct engagement with the family proceedings.
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