Re T (interim Care Order: Arrangements for Contact) [2024] EWCA Civil 469

June 5, 2024

Kate Burnell KC and Simon Heaney recently appeared in the Court of Appeal case of Re T (interim Care Order: Arrangements for Contact) [2024] EWCA Civil 469.

Kate appeared on behalf of the respondent  mother and Simon appeared on behalf of the local authority who had brought the appeal following the initial order of HHJ Greensmith.

The Court of Appeal in its judgment allowing the appeal confirmed that in relation to the arrangements for contact between a child and its parents during proceedings ‘are some of the most difficult which Family Court judges are required to make’ and that ‘judicial decision-making in relation to contact at every stage of the process and in each and every case demands a careful and conscientious evaluation’.

The Court also took the opportunity to remind practitioners of the importance of the ‘House Rules’ regarding the drafting of Court orders, in particular that;

‘[3] Recitals in a children order shall appear at the end of the order. Recitals must only record necessary information, drafted in as short and neutral a manner as possible. They should not record what happened in the hearing and should be limited to essential background matters which are not part of the body of the order. Any purported views of the court which did not form part of the court’s decision should not be recited. The recording of a party’s position before, during, or after the hearing as a recital should cease unless the standard order template requires such information.

[9] … Where possible, and in any event as provided in the standard order templates, recitals in children cases should appear in a schedule to the order.’

The case has been reported by the BBC and the Local Government Lawyer. The full judgment can also be found here