Sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
|In the Matter of M (A Child)|
Mr Daniel Nother (instructed by the local authority) for the respondent local authority
Miss Hayley Griffiths (instructed by Mustoe Shorter) for M's children's guardian
Hearing date: 27 July 2015
Crown Copyright ©
Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division :
i) New evidence demonstrated the full extent of the mother's disability, rendering her a vulnerable adult.
ii) The fact finding hearing was conducted without this vital information.
iii) The integrity of the fact finding hearing was so significantly compromised as to amount to a breach of Article 6, thus necessitating a re-consideration.
"Article 6 provides an absolute right to a fair trial. That right cannot be diluted. The findings that the court made as to the mother's reliability as a witness were central to the finding as to her possible role as a perpetrator of M's injuries. In the light of the information which is now available it cannot now be said that the mother did receive a fair trial in December 2012.
I am therefore satisfied that she has provided solid grounds which satisfy Stage 1 of the Test.
I therefore give the mother leave to re-open the fact find."
Judge Bond added that his decision "does not include any indication of the ultimate result of a re-hearing."
"Upon reading the judgment of His Honour Judge Bond dated 26 February 2015 and the orders subsequently made by Judge Bond
It is declared that (a) the effect of that judgment is to re-open the proceedings DO12C00164 under section 31 of the Children Act 1989 (b) future hearings before Judge Bond will be of the proceedings DO12C00164 and (c) the ongoing proceedings before Judge Bond are accordingly a "special Children Act 1989 case" within the meaning of paragraph 2 of The Civil Legal Aid (Merits Criteria) Regulations 2013, SI 2013/104."