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Court of Appeal finds remote adoption hearing is inappropriate

The Court of Appeal has vacated the final hearing of an adoption application that was due to be heard over 8 days commencing next week remotely. In what is believed to be the first case of its kind considered by the Court of Appeal, Karl Rowley QC led Simon Heaney for the father who brought the appeal.

Mr Heaney appeared at a case management hearing following the removal of a final adoption hearing from the list after the Covid-19 outbreak. The judge then relisted it as a remote hearing starting 27th April 2020.

The father opposed the final adoption hearing being listed remotely, as he believed this most serious of orders should be handled in a court room.

Jackson LJ granted leave and the appeal was heard remotely on Wednesday 23rd April.

The Appeal was heard by the President of the Family Division alongside Jackson and Davies LJJ who found in favour of the father. The full judgment will follow.