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Remote Hearings – Progress back to the Court room
Since the UK was put into lockdown in the early weeks of March 2020, and all family court hearings stopped taking place in the court room, the legal world started to receive guidance upon guidance as to how to best deal with remote hearings which were to take place with extremely short notice. The President of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane, issued guidance very quickly to try and help practitioners and judiciary alike as to how to best navigate hearings remotely. The guidance of 19 March 2020 was circulated around all social media platforms and the discretion within the guidance allowed for “any appropriate means of remote communication”. Thankfully at NLS, we were able to set up every national branch office with a dedicated, secure telephone line that was capable of recording so that we were able to immediately manage the remote listings that were coming through. Many members of the judiciary were grateful that we were able to assist in the initial transition to remote hearings and remote listings took place in those initial weeks without any issue. It has been impressive to see the courts, judiciary, barristers, solicitors & support staff adapt their way of working to keep the wheels of justice turning. Whilst there have been a few bumps along the way and some tension over what platforms could/should be used to host remote listings, in the main, one could say that we are now in the swing of all things remote. For our part, at NLS, having 19 branch offices has seen additional challenges in managing this transition as each court across the country has responded to remote hearings differently, exercising discretion and expressing concern in respect of their local facilities and ability to move to remote listings. This has led to series upon series of local guidance that has been disseminated to all our staff as there has been no single approach to remote… [...]
Shazia has been representing the client since January 2018 concerning an application to discharge a forced marriage protection order made in January 2016 which the West Midlands Police (WMP) applied for to protect our client from the allegations around the risk of forced marriage and violence from her family.
The court in January 2016 made a FMPO with various clauses but the key ones were that the order was made for an indefinite period (i..e no end date) and the client’s passport was ordered to be held by the WMP (also for an indefinite period of time).
The Forced Marriage Protection Order was made against the wishes and feelings and expressed request of our client who’s an adult of sound mind with no issues as to her capacity and understanding. The order was appealed and this is the decision of the court of appeal with the President of the Family division providing guidance to practitioners and judges as to how deal with indefinite orders in FMPO cases.
Read summary of the judgment here
Forced Marriage Protection Order Solicitors
Shazia Saliheen is experienced in Forced Marriage Protection Orders having represented clients in cases which have received national attention.
We have experienced in representing and protecting clients who are either threatened with forced marriage or who have been forced into a marriage a result of a forced marriage.