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'High time' family lawyers stop inappropriate use of 'request for clarification' procedure

14th February 2024

Law Gazette

The Court of Appeal has criticised the ‘misuse’ of the practice of requesting clarification of fact-finding judgments in recent family court cases.

In YM (Care Proceedings) (Clarification of Reasons), judges dismissed an appeal brought by a local authority against findings made in care proceedings concerning a boy, named as Y.

Lord Justice Baker, in the lead judgment, said the court was ‘confronted again with a case in which problems have arisen as a result of requests by the parties for clarification’ of the judge’s reasoning after a ‘lengthy’ fact-finding hearing. He said: ‘It has become increasingly common for counsel at the conclusion of a fact-finding hearing in care proceedings to submit requests for clarification of the judge’s reasons. In some cases, the requests are entirely appropriate and not infrequently the responses obviate the need for an appeal.

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Standard Family Orders Handbook: Volume Two (3rd edition)

The approved source of guidance to the official Standard Family Court Orders, covering Children and Other Orders.

HHJ Kambiz Moradifar, Nasstassia Hylton, Steven Howard, Edward Bennett, and Alexander Laing provide invaluable commentary on when and how to use each order, with a brief description of its purpose. The text of the orders is also interwoven with useful practice points from the authors. In addition, the colour coding in the approved orders has been reproduced so that you can easily see what to amend when drafting your orders.

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