Family Law Hub

R v P (Children: Similar Fact Evidence) [2020] EWCA Civ 1088

The proceedings concerned a father's application for contact with children aged two and five. The mother opposed contact on the basis that the father had subjected her to domestic and sexual abuse. She now appealed from a case management decision to exclude evidence of coercive and controlling behaviour by the father towards a subsequent partner. Peter Jackson LJ, after considering the approach to be taken to similar fact evidence in civil and family proceedings, and the standard of proof involved, stated that the judge's decision could not stand. The necessary analysis concerning whether the disputed evidence should be admitted had not been carried out, and the judge had been mistaken (as had the district judge) about the stance that had been taken by the court previously. Hickinbottom LJ and David Richards LJ agreed. The appeal was allowed, the evidence reinstated, and the judge's order set aside. The case was reallocated to High Court level with case management and fact-finding hearings to follow.

Judgment, published: 25/08/2020

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Published: 25/08/2020

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