Berkeley Lifford Hall Accountancy ServicesIQ Legal Training

President of the Family Division considers the appropriateness of a remote hearing

In Re P (A Child: Remote Hearing) [2020] EWFC 32, the President of the Family Division has considered the appropriateness of a remote hearing, in a proposed fully contested composite finding of fact hearing, concerning allegations of FII made by a Local Authority against a mother.

The decision of the President distils a number of key principles to be borne in mind when parties, and indeed the Court, are considering whether a matter is suitable to proceed by remote hearing. Sir Andrew McFarlane has said that there is 'no one size fits all' approach. Just because a matter can be heard remotely it does not mean it must be, and practitioners must be alive to issues of fairness and to ensure all parties are on an equal footing, particularly when considering the ability of lay parties to participate in remote proceedings.

For the judgment and a summary of it by Liam Kelly, click here.