1 Garden Court

A (No. 2) (Children: Findings of Fact) [2019] EWCA Civ 1947 (14 November 2019)

Alison Ball QC, leading Gemma Kelly and Andrew Bagchi QC, represented the parents who were the successful appellants in the Court of Appeal in a decision handed down on 14 November 2019.  

The decision is a rare example of the Court of Appeal setting aside findings of fact made by a High Court Judge, perhaps best summed up by Peter Jackson LJ when he stated that he was in no doubt that the appeal must succeed on the grounds that the decision was both wrong and procedurally unjust.  

The case related to the circumstances of the death of a child and the decision set out guidance in relation to the conduct of such hearings in circumstances where the judge develops a case theory not advanced by any party.

Uniquely, the Court of Appeal has remitted the case for a second rehearing or a third fact-finding hearing and the judgment addresses the reasons for doing so when the family argued that to do so would be unfair and disproportionate.

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