ANCILLARY RELIEF: Charman v Charman

20 DEC 2005

(Court of Appeal; Sir Mark Potter P, Lloyd and Wilson LJJ; 20 December 2005)

The principles governing requests addressed to courts of another country in respect of documents or of oral evidence, governed by Evidence (Proceedings in Other Jurisdictions) Act 1975, s 2(4), did not permit mere fishing expeditions. However, the further limitation which applied in ordinary civil litigation, that a request had to be confined to documents which the court was satisfied existed or had existed, did not apply in financial proceedings following divorce. Such a limitation would, in this special type of proceedings, largely deprive the jurisdiction of its efficacy to secure the production of documents, as in ancillary relief proceedings a wife would seldom have the knowledge with which to prove the existence of a document which might have a crucial bearing on the outcome of her financial application.

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