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  • The father sought an order for the mother to pay one half of the costs of the expert witnesses instructed in the case. The child's care had been transferred from the mother to the father, and the mother had declined to engage in the therapy required by the court and thus contact had not yet been resumed. The mother opposed this application on the grounds that she could not afford to pay a one-half share, and that she did not appoint the parental alienation expert, nor the other professionals involved, nor agree to their instruction. Keehan J said that the latter argument was "totally misconceived": the court had considered their instruction to be necessary and had given permission for their instruction. Keehan J was not persuaded that the mother did not have the means to pay the costs sought by the father. She was ordered to pay £2,783.60 forthwith and the remaining balance in 16 instalments of £500 per month. Judgment, 05/06/2020, free
  • Webinar to be broadcast on Wednesday 20th May, 1pm-2pm. News, 12/05/2020, free
  • A circuit judge sitting in the Family Court had held that the father, on a single occasion, had sexually abused his daughter. Holman J found that the judge's findings, in a very difficult case, were unreliable. He identified ten issues with them, including that no independent expert view had been brought to bear upon the forensic evidence. Justice, not only to the father but above all to the child, required that the whole matter be reconsidered afresh by a completely different judge. The very young age of the child made this an exceptional case and so the re-hearing would take place before a High Court judge. Judgment, 14/01/2020, free
  • The father applied for child arrangements orders in respect of these two children. Pursuant to s.91(14) of the Children Act 1989, the mother applied to prevent the father from making any further Children Act applications without leave of the court. The father was a litigant in person, but also a qualified member of the Bar, and yet his behaviour during the hearing was described by Keehan J as appalling, aggressive, incoherent and intimidating, for example with regard to the expert witness psychologist during cross-examination. This supported the conclusions in her report as to his lack of empathy and narcissistic personality disorder. An order for direct contact would have a devastating impact upon the mother, which would have a serious adverse impact indirectly on the two children. Keehan J was entirely satisfied that it was not in the best interests of either child to have direct contact with the father, and a s.91(14) order was imposed upon him for a period of two years. He was urged to seek professional help. Judgment, 03/01/2020, free
  • Symposium taking place on 4th July. News, 04/07/2019, free

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