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Update | Children: grounds for appeal

With family courts under pressure to issue speedy justice, Noel Arnold tackles some of the grounds for appeal that can emerge
if procedures are not 
properly followed

14 December 2012

Despite increasing pressure for judges to deal with family cases quickly, Re N (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1563 highlights the necessity for judges to manage the process carefully to ensure that the rules of court and right to a fair hearing are not offended.

In this case, McFarlane LJ considered an appeal brought by the parents against orders made by the circuit judge for a care order and placement order in respect of the child at an issues resolution hearing (IRH). At a prior hearing, case management directions were made for the parents to file and serve their response to the local authority’s (LA) threshold statement and their final evidence, all of which should have been complied with prior to the IRH.

The parents failed to comply so when the matter came before the IRH, the judge queried their solicitor over the reasons for the non-compliance. The solicitor confirmed that although an...

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