Family Law Hub

R v Secretary of State for the Home Department (No. 2) [2020] EWHC 1036 (Fam)

Private law family proceedings between the mother and father were ongoing, regarding the welfare of their eight-year-old son. This hearing concerned the disclosure and inspection of documentation from the mother's successful asylum claim, in which she had alleged domestic and sexual abuse on the part of the father. MacDonald J ordered that several of those documents should be disclosed, with some redaction, as being relevant to its fact-finding process. The father had the right to a fair trial under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights, and his Article 8 rights were also engaged. The same was true of the child's Article 6 and 8 rights. It was plainly in the child's best interests for decisions as to his welfare to be taken on a fully informed basis. This required that the court had before it all of the evidence relevant to determining that issue. However, MacDonald J stressed that this decision did not signal any change in the general approach to disclosure into family proceedings of asylum documentation. Rather, this was the application of settled legal principles to the very particular facts of this case.

Judgment, published: 11/05/2020

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Published: 11/05/2020

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