Re M-Y (Children) [2018] EWCA Civ 1306

Alev Giz represented the appellant mother (as she had done throughout the proceedings in the lower court) in the Court of Appeal on her appeal against findings of fact in respect of allegations made by her 14-year-old daughter against her of physical abuse and against her stepfather (who was the second appellant), of sexual abuse. Lord Justice McCombe and Lady Justice King allowed the appeal and set aside the findings in full on the basis that the Judge in the court below had not engaged with and properly considered the numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in the child’s evidence, her refusal to allow a key social work witness to be called who had material evidence to give about the veracity of the child’s account, the impact of various case management decisions rendering the findings unsound and her failure to allow any meaningful challenge to the child’s allegations by way of cross examination in circumstances where only questions about the surrounding facts were allowed and no questions challenging the core allegations were permitted. Lord Justice McCombe emphasised the need for a "tailor made" approach to directions which are given with regard to a child’s evidence in proceedings of this kind and found that the questioning which had been permitted of the child at the fact finding hearing had not allowed any meaningful challenge to her account.

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