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Family Law

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18 MAY 2006

FAMILY PROCEEDINGS: Re F (Contact: Lack of Reasons) [2006] EWCA Civ 792

(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Moses LJJ and Hedley J; 18 May 2006)

The father applied for contact to the two children of his third marriage. There was an allegation that the father had sexually abused the elder of the two children. There were also allegations that he had abused a daughter by a previous marriage, and two of her friends. The judge, having heard evidence, ordered contact between the two children and the father.

The judgment was so lacking in reasoning and substance that it presented an appearance of not engaging fully with these important issues and was wholly deficient in explanations as to how or why the conclusions had been arrived at. In particular the judge had failed to explain why evidence from the two friends had been disbelieved and had not dealt in any way with the question whether there were inconsistencies in their evidence.

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