Practice Notes – Freestanding port alert orders

This section highlights issues which have arisen for other lawyers at Stowe or points of learning which might be helpful to flag up to others.

Freestanding port alert orders – Advisory notice

Mr Justice Peel, Judge in Charge of Standard Orders, has made the following announcement with the authority of the President of the Family Division.

In A v B [2021] EWHC 1716 (Fam) Mostyn J confirmed that the court has the power to issue a freestanding port alert, without requiring a Tipstaff order. This power extends to all levels of the judiciary. Having consulted with the Tipstaff, Mostyn J annexed to his judgment a draft order which was incorporated in the suite of standard family orders pursuant to guidance given with the authority of the President on 6 July 2021.

That order has been reviewed by the Tipstaff and has now been amended to make the process simpler for users. Hitherto, the practice has been for the order to be sent both to the police, for circulation on the Police National Computer, and to the National Border Targeting Centre; the order requires both forces to implement the port alert. This has created logistical and coordination difficulties on the ground for these forces. To simplify the process, and after discussions between the Tipstaff and the relevant forces, it has been decided that the order is to be sent only to the National Border Targeting Centre.

The revised order link is attached here and shall from 1 October 2022 be used where a freestanding port alert is made. Directions as to how parties and/or their representatives should contact the National Border Targeting Centre are included within the order. It will be incorporated in the suite of Standard Family Orders when they are published later this year upon completion of a wide-ranging review. From 1 October 2022, the version of the order at 13.30 of the Volume 2 of the Standard Orders should not be used.

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