[2012] EWCA Civ 1281 Re:C – Court of Appeal; Contact for a parent in care proceedings


[2012] EWCA 1281




At the first instance hearing, the Recorder had summarily granted the father’s application for an order that he receive a small photo annually, despite objections from the local authority and Guardian. The Recorder did not provide reasons and the Court of Appeal therefore adjourned the matter with a request to the Recorder to explain his decision.

The Recorder subsequently provided an addendum judgment, citing the child’s close connection with the paternal family, the fact that the father was a living presence in the child’s mind and purporting to rely on expert evidence to the effect that indirect communication would assist the professionals in future therapy for the child.

The local authority submitted that the latter reason was a distortion of the expert evidence, which was in fact to the effect that indirect contact should only take place in consultation with, and impliedly subject to the approval of, the child’s therapist. That submission was accepted by the Thorpe LJ, giving the judgment of the court, who also considered that the child’s position had been given inadequate consideration. The order was therefore set aside.

Barristers involved

Previn Jagutpal