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07 JAN 2015

Re D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2

Re D (A Child) (No 2) [2015] EWFC 2

(Family Court, Sir James Munby, thePresident of the Family Division, 7 January 2015)

[The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote has now published in Family Law Reports [2015] 1 FLR 1247]

Costs – Legal aid funding – Use of anintermediary – Whether the cost should be met by HMCTS

The full judgment is attached below

The cost of the use of an intermediary forparents in care proceedings would be met by the HMCTS.

In care proceedings itfell to be determined whether the child should remain in the care of hisparents, who suffered from learning difficulties, or be placed with widerfamily members or placed for adoption. The parents were ineligible for legalaid and in a previous judgment the President found it would be unthinkable forthem to face the local authority application without proper representation. ThePresident invited other interested parties to intervene and scheduled a furtherhearing where it would be determined whether funding for the parents’representation should be met by the local authority or HMCTS.

Since that hearing theLegal Aid Agency had agreed to issue a funding certificate to the parents onthe basis that they each made a contribution towards the cost ofrepresentation. The Ministry of Justice declined to intervene but set out itsposition in a letter to the court outlining the process of means and meritstested legal aid. Annexed to the judgment was a chronology of the parents’solicitors’ dealings with the LAA.

The parents madeapplications for the use of an intermediary in court for the issues resolutionhearing and the final hearing. The cost of which would properly be bourne byHMCTS as it was a mechanism to enable the litigant to communicate effectivelywith the court, and was analogous with the use of a translator. However, wherethe services of an intermediary were required otherwise than during a courthearing and for the purposes of assessing the capacity, competence or use ofspecial measures the cost would be met by the LAA. Therefore, the cost of anintermediary in court to assist the parents would be met by HMCTS.

It was not yet clear whether legal aid would begranted for the final hearing. The President emphasised once again that itwould be unconscionable to permit the parents to face a final hearing withoutproper representation. It would breach their European Convention rights underArt 6 and 8 and would constitute a denial of justice.

Neutral Citation Number: [2015] EWFC 2

Case No: SN14C00004


Royal Courts of Justice
 Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 7 January 2015

Before :


In the Matter of D (A Child) (No 2)

Ms Deirdre Fottrell and Ms Marlene Cayoun (instructed by Withy King) for the father (aprotected party acting by the Official Solicitor as his litigation friend)
Ms Sarah Morgan QC and Ms Lucy Sprinz (instructed by Goodman Ray) for the mother
Mr Leslie Samuels QC and Ms Hayley Griffiths (instructed by the local authority) forSwindon Borough Council
Mr Kambiz Moradifar (instructed by Stone King LLP) for the child D
Ms Martha Cover and Ms Sarah Tyler (instructed by T V Edwards) for the Association ofLawyers for Children (on 13 November 2014)

Hearing dates: 13 November, 2 December 2014

Approved Judgment
I direct that pursuant to CPR PD 39A para 6.1 no official shorthand note shall be taken of thisJudgment and that copies of this version as handed down may be treated as authentic.



This judgment was handed down in open court

Please see attached full judgment Re D (A Child)  

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