The Dictionary of Private Children Law is a unique reference guide to the key concepts, cases, and practice of private children law. Its A4 format and targeted concise content makes it a unique model of accessibility and portability.
Presented in an easy to use A-Z format, with cross references where required, each entry acts like a practice note on the topic setting out the essential law, key cases, and practice points. The book distils the combined experience of the editors with the aim of providing a concise practical handbook focusing on the most important issues and practice points likely to be encountered by anybody involved in a private children law case. The intention is to achieve this aim for judges and practitioners working in the field, but also to provide a book sufficiently accessible for litigants acting without lawyers.
What's new for 2022?
This 2022 edition is fully updated to include changes and developments in the law from the last twelve months.
- New entries include: Port Alerts and Tipstaff Orders (Passport, Location and Collection Orders), Step-parent adoption, and Security for Costs.
Who will find the book useful?
- Every family law solicitor, barrister or legal executive advising clients on disputes about children after divorce or separation
- Family Court Judges
- Mediators, Arbitrators, and other professionals involved in out of court dispute resolution
- McKenzie Friends and litigants in person
Paperback | ISBN: 9781859599945 | Published February 2022
Page count: 115
“I am delighted to have been asked to write a short Foreword to the first edition of this excellent new work … its style and format make it an invaluable tool for anyone needing a pithy summary of the relevant law. The number of entries illustrates the astonishingly wide range of issues that arise in private children law. On behalf of the readers of this work, I have road tested the dictionary by reference to a random list of topics and have found it to be succinct, clear and informative ... I congratulate Judge Hess and his colleagues on this invaluable addition to the family law library.”
Dictionary of Private Children Law 2022
Foreword to the second edition
Introduction to the 2022 edition
Abduction Outside the UK
Abduction Within the UK
Activity Directions and Conditions
Allocation, Gatekeeping and Transfer of Proceedings
Appeals and Setting Aside Orders
Applicants and Applications
Capability of Parents
Change of Living Arrangements
Child Arrangements Orders (General)
Child Arrangements Orders (‘Live With’ Provision)
Child Arrangements Orders (‘Spend Time With’/‘Have Contact With’ Provision)
Child Arrangements Programme (CAP)
Child Giving Evidence
Child’s Age, Sex, Background and Other Relevant Characteristics
Children’s Guardian and the Child as a Party
Civil Restraint Orders
Coercive and Controlling Behaviour
Contact: General Principles
Death of Children
Dispute Resolution Appointment (DRA)
DNA Testing and Parentage
Effect of Change (Status Quo)
Enforcement and Enforcement Orders
Family Assistance Orders
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
First Hearing Dispute Resolution Appointment (FHDRA)
Hague Convention 1996
Harm and Risk of Harm
Independent Social Workers
Interim Orders and Interim Hearings
Intractable Contact Disputes
Judges Meeting Children
Judicial Bias and Recusal
Media Attendance and Reporting
Mediation and ADR
Medical Examination and Treatment
Names of Children
No Order Principle
Parental Involvement Presumption
Parental Responsibility: Acquisition and Loss
Parental Responsibility: Definition and Scope
Parental Status and Legitimacy
Port Alerts and Tipstaff Orders (Passport, Location and Collection Orders)
Prohibited Steps Orders
Publicity and Confidentiality
Recognition and Enforcement of Orders
Relocation Outside the UK: Holidays
Relocation Outside the UK: Permanent Moves
Relocation Within the UK
Section 37 Direction
Section 91(14) Orders
Security for Costs
Special Guardianship Orders
Specific Issue Orders
Supervised and Supported Contact
Terrorism and Radicalisation
Wardship and the Inherent Jurisdiction
Warning Notices and Penal Notices
Welfare: Paramountcy Principle
Wishes and Feelings of the Child
Withdrawal of Applications
Without Notice Applications
As we move inexorably from a Victorian paper-based legal system to a digitised process more in keeping with the rest of 21st-century life, the days of wheeling trolleys of law books to court are swiftly disappearing. The recent proud boast of a distinguished senior judge that he had not opened a law book in two years would have astonished his predecessors. Many of us still prefer to consult physical books in the privacy of our offices, but in court judges and lawyers are now increasingly using electronic editions.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule and this excellent volume, now in its second edition, is a good example. Its slim and sleek format, matching its sister publications the Dictionary of Financial Remedies and At A Glance, ensure that it can be slipped easily into a briefcase and taken to court without difficulty and once there consulted unobtrusively as required, for example if the judge unexpectedly identifies a point that completely undermines your case (“Of course, Mr Baker, this is not my area of the law but….”)
When I drafted the Foreword to last year inaugural edition, we were in the middle of the third Covid-19 lockdown, and I observed that it seemed unlikely that we would return to court in the near future. Writing this Foreword as we emerge from the omicron variant, I hope very much that we will now see a rapid return to court, retaining remote working only for those case management and shorter hearings for which it is properly suited. Even if that hope is fulfilled, however, it is clear that the pandemic has had a very serious and deleterious effect on the family justice system. The damage has been limited by the extraordinary efforts of everyone working in the system under the leadership of the President of the Family Division. But we now face a very significant backlog of cases, in particular in private children’s law where the number of children and families in the system has risen from under 50,000 in March 2019 to over 80,000 by the end of 2021. Great efforts involving the judiciary, practitioners, HMCTS and the Ministry of Justice are now underway to tackle this backlog, in particular by identifying ways of diverting cases from court, but on any view it is going to be with us for a considerable time to come.
Aside from the pandemic, the most significant developments in private children’s law in the past year have involved the treatment of domestic abuse. The decisions of Hayden J in F v M  EWFC 4 and of the Court of Appeal in Re H-N and others  EWCA Civ 448 have focused further attention on the problem of coercive and controlling behaviour and the challenges faced by the family court when trying to identify and deal with it. The consequences of the Court of Appeal’s decision are still being worked through. Meanwhile, Parliament has passed the Domestic Abuse Act 2021 some parts of which are in force with others to be implemented in due course, including important new provisions designed to improve the protection for alleged victims and witnesses going through legal proceedings. Amongst these provisions I would single out the amendments to the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984 inserting new sections 31G to Z, prohibiting the conduct of cross-examination in person in certain circumstances and providing a scheme for the appointment of a qualified legal representative to conduct the cross-examination. I note that in the section below headed “Litigants in Person” it is observed that the circumstances in which such an appointment may be made “seem to be very wide” and that the procedure seems likely to become a “common feature” of many disputes about children where allegations of abuse are made. It will be interesting to see whether this prediction is correct. No doubt there will be unforeseen and perhaps unintended consequences, but all judges and practitioners will welcome this overdue reform.
Every family lawyer specialising in this field will find it fascinating to leaf through these pages and admire the way in which the authors have summarised the law so succinctly. They are to be congratulated and thanked for an excellent addition to the family law library.
The Right Honourable Lord Justice Baker
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