As everyone remains either thoroughly confused or casually complacent over what rules we’re supposed to be following (including the Prime Minister’s senior advisor who helped to make those rules), the courts too, are in a precarious limbo.
Not entirely family court related but still of interest, the Lord Chief Justice has approved the re-launching of jury trials, with four courts confirming such trials took place last week.
You can read the update written by the Chair of the Jury Trials Working Group here.
Domestic abuse cases in criminal courts are being prioritised for summary trial with hearings being listed so that individuals can start to attend physical courts hosting these cases.
Guidance on listings in magistrates courts can be accessed here.
The order of business in family courts remains relatively unchanged this week, with the following priorities confirmed below:
Public family law cases (child protection) – Emergency Protection Orders • Interim Care Order • Renewal of Interim Care Order • Secure Accommodation Order • Deprivation of Liberty authorisation.
Private family law cases (divorce, child contact) – Child Abduction Orders (including Tipstaff Orders), Domestic Abuse (Family Law Act) Injunctions, Female Genital Mutilation and Forced Marriage Protection Orders, Divorce – urgent applications and decrees absolute.
Court of Protection cases – Urgent applications • Applications under Mental Capacity Act 2005, s 16A and s 21A • Serious medical treatment cases • Deprivation of Liberty • Form COP1 Statutory Wills – where person is near end of life. • Safeguarding applications via the Office of the Public Guardians.
The latest guidance to ensure injunction applications are prioritised and victims of domestic abuse receive protection as soon as possible, can be found here.