Lord Justice McFarlane, “A barrister wouldn’t tell a lie.”


I wish I could believe in the infallibility of barristers and the judiciary, but experience teaches caution on this one.

Researching Reform

Yet another Family Law case involving parents going through child protection proceedings has made the headlines this week.

In this case, the parents claimed their barrister forced them to wait outside the court room, preventing them from presenting evidence about their child’s treatment whilst in care. An adoption order was made in their absence, and the judgment itself was never given to the parents.

The judgment then appeared on the free legal library BAILII ten months later, whereupon the parents discovered that the judge had been told by their barrister that the parents had in fact elected to stay outside the court room.

The mother subsequently applied to the Court Of Appeal for a fresh hearing, having been denied her right to be heard in the first instance. Lord Justice McFarlane, who was the appeal judge for the mother’s application, listened to the mother’s evidence and then contacted the mother’s…

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