Re H-C (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 136

April 18, 2016

The Court of Appeal has released the judgment in a successful appeal taken by Karl Rowley QC and Lorraine Cavanagh, assisted by Eleanor Keehan. The CoA has, it seems for the first time, overturned a finding of fact that a person caused a child’s death, made by a full-time high court judge. The Court of Appeal has gone on to give guidance as to the use of a finding of a lie in family cases. In particular hereinafter in family cases a lie alone is insufficient evidence to found a finding of culpability:

“One highly important aspect of the Lucas decision, and indeed the approach to lies generally in the criminal jurisdiction, needs to be borne fully in mind by family judges. It is this: in the criminal jurisdiction the ‘lie’ is never taken, of itself, as direct proof of guilt. As is plain from the passage quoted from Lord Lane’s judgment in Lucas, where the relevant conditions are satisfied the lie is ‘capable of amounting to a corroboration’.”(As per Lord Justice McFarlane at paragraph 100).

Click here to read the judgment.