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(Court of Appeal; Patten, Munby, Tomlinson LJJ; 21 Decemebr 2011)
The mother appealed a fact-finding judgment which found her two children had been sexually abused by three friends of hers and that she had been involved. The parties had been asked by the judge whether there was any particular area they felt he had not covered but they declined. The mother claimed judge had provided insufficient reasoning. The case was remitted to the trial judge with an invitation to provide further reasoning. The judge was unable to do so for reasons unconnected with the case.
Appeal remitted to Court of Appeal for determination. Appeal dismissed. Judge's reasoning had been sufficiently clear, reasons had been brief but adequate. The judge had been faced with familiar dilemma of either adjourning to prepare a written judgment and causing further delay or giving an ex tempore judgment so that plans for the children could be made with minimal delay. Ex tempore judgments should not be discouraged. Safeguard is the duty of the parties to seek further elaboration if they feel something is missing.
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