Family Law Hub

Human Rights

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  • 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, 11/05/2020, free
  • The mother had been in Poland with the daughter for two years, after a wrongful retention. The Polish court had refused the father's application under the 1980 Hague Convention in view of allegations of sexual abuse made against the father and paternal grandfather. The father now applied for the daughter's return under Article 11(7) of Brussels II Revised. Mr Teertha Gupta QC, sitting as a deputy High Court judge, did not accept that the mother had been disenfranchised by the process. The question for him was whether it was in the child's best interests to return here, in order for a court to make enquiries and determinations about her best interests. The Guardian's position was that the child should be returned with immediate effect for assessment. Mr Teertha Gupta QC concluded that he had no alternative but to order the child's return. Judgment, 28/11/2019, free
  • The mother wrongfully removed the son to the UK. Her application for asylum on the basis of being a victim of domestic violence was granted on appeal. The father was applying under the Hague Convention for summary return, and in this hearing applied for disclosure of the asylum files relating to the mother and child, contending that his Article 6 and 8 rights could not otherwise be preserved. The Secretary of State for the Home Department resisted disclosure. HHJ Corbett was satisfied that the impact of disclosure upon the asylum process would outweigh the impact of non-disclosure on the Article 6 and 8 rights of the father and child. The application for disclosure was refused. Judgment, 05/09/2019, free
  • The wife's application for a reporting restrictions order was granted by King, Underhill and Moylan LJJ. In this case, the Article 8 rights of the family members outweighed the Article 10 rights of the media. Judgment, 11/04/2019, free
  • The father appealed against an order which prevented him from bringing further applications for contact or residence for three years. The judge had found that the children would suffer emotional harm if required to have direct contact with the father, who had completely lost sight of their welfare. Longmore, Peter Jackson and Coulson LJJ dismissed the appeal. Judgment, 09/04/2019, free

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