St John’s family & divorce team host Annual Children’s Conference 2017

24th February 2017

Asha Pearce Groves

This month our family & divorce team hosted their Annual Children’s Conference 2017 at the Hilton Doubletree, Bristol, kindly sponsored by Wesleyan. The day began with an introduction from Abigail Bond, Head of Children’s Team.

Kathryn Skellorn QC began with a discussion of scientific testing and strategy for family lawyers, items were addressed such as equality within the sampling considerations for melanin content and challenging hair strand test results. This talk was followed on by Beth Tarleton from the University of Bristol who presented an in depth look at supporting parents with learning difficulties. She covered many areas such as good practice, changes in professionals’ views and level of concern for the babies as well as certain specific needs in relation to safeguarding procedures for the children of learning disabled parents.

Delegates were then treated to an introduction from Australia born Anna Rickards, Head of Practice and Learning at Pause Project; Pause – creating space to change. Anna began with a pause film telling the real story of one of Pause’s women in her own words.Following Anna, DNA Legal’s, Dr Breidi gave an introduction into the companies’ diverse means of testing to include alcohol hair testing and fingernail testing, primarily used to aid criminal matters in the family courts. This talk was followed by an update on recent developments in public law from Judi Evans, Head of Family & Divorce. After the lunch break Julia Belyavin, covered the recent developments in private law which included specific relocation cases. Lucy Reed then highlighted guidance on practical ways to secure a child’s anonymity for judges whilst addressing the changing perspectives on transparency in the family court.

Concluding the day, Asha Pearce-Groves focused on the law and procedure relating to the Human Rights Act which included some of the most recent updates. And Abigail Bond provided a useful guide on the Court of Protection for children lawyers.

The Conference was a huge success, attended by over 50 delegates and received fantastic feedback; you can review the live tweets from the day by searching #childrensconf2017 on twitter. “Good value for money”, “Informative, well run course”, “Very successful event”.

Read more: Care proceedings and damages for breach of human rights