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  • In proceedings for the enforcement of an ancillary relief award, the wife had made an application for disclosure by the tenth respondent, her son, to whom she claimed monetary assets had been transferred by the husband, and the son had applied for disclosure of her funding arrangements and various documents upon which she relied. Knowles J concluded that the son's counterclaim should be struck out. He had no entitlement to seek any relief in respect of the wife's funding arrangements and had failed to demonstrate that there were legally recognisable grounds for challenging their legality. It was decided that the son should disclose documents containing receipts of $100,000 or more, and various other requests were also to be answered. As to the son's application for disclosure, it did not breach Article 6 for the wife to hold on to irrelevant documents. The son had no need to see documents which the wife's solicitors were satisfied did not contain any personal or financial information relating to him. The son also made an application, unsupported by any witness statement, for a reporting restriction order, with the goal of preventing his personal finances from being made public. The case had generated a good deal of media interest. Knowles J decided that the draft order as it stood would inhibit responsible reporting of the proceedings, but he was persuaded that there should be an order to prevent the son's address and other personal information being included in reports. Judgment, 13/06/2020, free
  • The father was HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai and Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. The mother was Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, a daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan. The two children had come to this country with their mother in 2019, and arrangements for contact with the father were being considered. Upon the application of a number of media organisations, the President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, had decided that three judgments in the case should be made public. These included findings of fact that the father had on three occasions ordered and orchestrated the unlawful abduction and forcible return of two of his other children, involving on one occasion an assault at sea by armed commandos. The father had not appealed against the fact-finding judgment, but appealed against the President's decision to lift reporting restrictions. The Court of Appeal (Underhill, Bean and King LJJ) dismissed the appeal. Judgment, 06/03/2020, free
  • The mother having removed the daughter from Australia and gone to ground in the Outer Hebrides, MacDonald J ruled that it was a blatant and premeditated act of child abduction. He found that her evidence showed a marked tendency towards hyperbole and exaggeration, and she had not succeeded in bringing the case within the exception in Art 13(b) of the Hague Convention 1980. He ordered the summary return of the child to the father. The court had previously allowed publicity of the case to assist in locating the child, and so he did not require this judgment to be published in an anonymised form. Judgment, 28/05/2019, free
  • The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, has released draft guidance for consultation on reporting in the Family Courts. News, 09/05/2019, free
  • Applications were made to redact a previous judgment concerning international child abduction, on the basis that criminal charges might be brought. Mostyn J said that such redactions would rob the judgment of the coercive effect that it was designed to achieve, and no decision to charge had yet been made. The applications were rejected. Judgment, 29/04/2019, free

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