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Message from Mr Justice Mostyn: amendments to standard orders

I make this announcement with the authority of the President.

Today, the Guidance from the President’s Office “Liaison between Courts in England and Wales and British Embassies and High Commissions Abroad” has been issued.

It has been placed on the judiciary website: click here (opens in a new tab) to read it.

The Guidance appends specimen clauses which may be included in orders to be made in those cases where a child has been wrongfully removed to or retained in a foreign country and where, among other matters, assistance is sought from the authorities of that country and/or, via the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in London, from the relevant British Embassies, High Commissions or Consulates in it.

At my request the group considering amendments to the Standard Family Orders Volume 2 chaired by HHJ Moradifar has undertaken an urgent review of the relevant orders and has drafted amendments which reflect the terms of the Guidance and the specimen clauses.

The revised orders are:

  • Order 13.20: Abduction – Wardship Directions Order (Without Notice)
  • Order 13.21: Abduction – Wardship Directions Order (on Notice)
  • Order 13.22: Abduction – Wardship Directions Order (Without Notice – Pakistan Protocol)
  • Order 13.23: Abduction – Wardship Directions Order (on Notice – Pakistan Protocol)

If the case involves the wrongful removal of a child to, or retention of a child in, Pakistan then, as before, Orders 13.22 and 13.23 should be used. In all other cases Orders 13.20 and 13.21 should be used.   

The revised orders are attached to this announcement and take effect immediately. Also attached is a zip file of Volume 2 of the standard orders in their up-to-date form.

All further amendments will await the full review of the standard orders, the work on which is now underway, the consultation period having concluded on 28 February 2022.

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