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P v BW [2003] EWHC 1541 (Fam)

Human Rights - Declaration of incompatibility - Children - Residence order - Private hearings - Applications for declarations that Family Proceedings Rules 1991, r 4.16(7) and Children Act 1989, s 97(2) were incompatible with European Convention on Human Rights Art 6 - Applications dismissed - Child’s best interests lay in private hearing - Evidence and submissions in application for joint residence order to be heard in private

11 July 2003

Determination of applications relating to publication of the identity of a child and the human rights compatibility of private hearings, in relation to the applicant’s (P) proceedings for a joint residence order in relation to his son. Prior proceedings had considered the residence of the child. In Re P (Hearings in Open Court) (1996) 2 FLR 765 the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal against the refusal to hold the hearing in public. Subsequently, in B v UK : P v UK (2001) 2 FLR 261, the European Court of Human Rights ruled by a majority (five votes to two) that P’s rights under Art 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) had not been violated and that it was unnecessary to consider P’s complaint under Art 10. In relation to his joint resident proceedings, P sought: (i) a public hearing and judgment; (ii) a declaration that Rule 4.16(7) of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991 and s 97(2) of the Children Act 1989 were incompatible with Art 6 and Art 10 o...

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