This judgment focuses on four appeals[1] which all involve allegations of domestic abuse by one parent against another. The Court used this opportunity to provide guidance on how the Family Court should deal with domestic abuse in private law proceedings, and in particular to address whether in some cases there should be a shift in approach so that the court’s focus is on a pattern of behaviour as opposed to specific incidents of abuse; and the relevance of concepts applicable in criminal proceedings to the Family Court. The conclusions and discussion of the four appeals before The President of the Family Division, Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Holroyde can be found at [78] onwards.

In summary, the appeals were allowed for Re B-B, Re T and Re H-N and dismissed for Re H. This summary does not focus on the contents and outcomes of the appeals themselves, but rather the general guidance provided by the court regarding allegations of domestic abuse in private law proceedings and the common issues which arose in each of the cases before the Appeal Court. Read more here.

[1] Re H-N; Re T; Re H; Re B-B.

By Emily Mitchell, and Chambers Paralegal Reiss Palmer.

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