Family Law Hub

K & H (Children) [2015] EWCA Civ 543

Cross-examination of child by judge where the father, against whom allegations had been made, was not represented or eligible for legal aid.

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Case note, published: 17/06/2015

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  • This was a case in which the judge did not feel it was appropriate for him to cross-examine the child (who had made allegations against her step father) in a situation where the father was not represented or eligible for legal aid. The judge said instead that the court should arrange for a legal representative to be appointed to cross-examine the child on behalf of the father and that the cost of this should be met by HMCTS. The Lord Chancellor appealed and the appeal was allowed, the court saying that in the present case, which was fairly straightforward, the judge should probably have decided to conduct the questioning himself. The nature of this case was such that there were options available to the judge which would have ensured a fair hearing and vindicated the article 6 and 8 rights of the father and the other children involved. Judgment, 22/05/2015, free

Published: 17/06/2015

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