ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE TURNER QC)
London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE McFARLANE
LORD JUSTICE VOS
|IN THE MATTER OF C (A CHILD)|
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Ms Ruth Cabeza (instructed by Moss Beachley Mullem and Coleman) appeared on behalf of the Appellant Mother
Ms Angela Burstow (instructed by the Local Authority) appeared on behalf of the relevant Local Authority
Ms Kelly Webb (instructed by Miles & Partners) appeared on behalf of the Children's Guardian
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"In my view, any work undertaken with [the father] is unlikely to succeed unless Deaf professionals are involved. To clarify this; the provision of interpreters alone is not sufficient."
"The use of a Deaf Relay Interpreter for formal court proceedings is recommended. This is an individual who works with the interpreter but can adapt the communication more flexibly to meet the needs of the Deaf person."
"Interpretation is not merely a matter of word-for-sign equivalence; cultural brokerage is required which is far more effective if the hearing professional has some knowledge and experience of the Deaf community."
(1) 24. First of all, it is the duty of those who are acting for a parent who has a hearing disability to identify that as a feature of the case at the earliest opportunity.
(2) 25. Both those acting for such a party and the local authority should make the issue known to the court at the time that the proceedings are issued. Baker J says this:
"The new PLO envisages that in those circumstances the court should give directions for special measures at the case management hearing to take place by day 12 of the proceedings."
That should apply in this case just as it does to the cases which are the target of Baker J's guidance.
(3) 26. It should, in my view on the basis of the information this court has, be a matter of course for the provision of expert advice on the impact of the deaf person's disability in the particular circumstances of the case to be fully addressed at the case management hearing. An application for expert involvement for the purpose, if nothing else to advise the court and the professionals how they should approach the individual, should be the subject of a properly constituted application for leave to instruct the expert under Part 25 of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. Baker J says this, and I endorse his words in our present context:
"In addition, the legal representatives should normally by the date of the case management hearing identify an agency to assist their client to give evidence through an intermediary or otherwise if the court concludes that such measures are required."
I adopt those with necessary change of language to refer to Deaf Relay Interpreter.
(4) 27. The issue of funding needs to be