H -D – H ( Children)- B4/ 2021/ 0679 and C ( a child) B4/2021/0679

On 1st July 2021 The Court of Appeal heard the 2 appeals referred to above consecutively in order to provide new guidelines as to when it is appropriate to hold a finding of fact hearing. Huw Lippiatt appeared in the first appeal led by Will Tyler QC and David Orbaum appeared in the second.

Both appeals pursued by Local Authorities followed robust case management decisions to proceed without a finding of fact to avoid unnecessary delay although the facts underlying these decisions were significantly different in each case.

The first appeal was dismissed and the second appeal was allowed, the appeals falling on each side of the new guidelines
The written judgements were handed down on 30th July 2021.

What is clear from the guidelines set out in the judgements is that it may be considered appropriate to direct a fact finding hearing to try to ascertain the degree of future risk that an alleged perpetrator may pose to children even if is not necessary to finalise plans for a child or children in the current proceedings

A link to the judgement can be found here: https://www.judiciary.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/H-D-H-Children-judgment.pdf

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Claudine Cooper on 0113 202 8604

Paul Foster on 0113 213 5209

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