ME v MP and another

Family proceedings – Orders in family proceedings. Where a judge in earlier proceedings had found that a child (R) had suffered, and was likely to suffer, significant emotional harm as a result of the actions of the mother, that finding, was contrary to the local authority's conclusion that the threshold for public law intervention had not been met. Having made that finding prior to finally determining the private law applications and before, in particular, the contact applications, the parties and the court should have considered the further role the authority might have been required to play in fulfilment of their statutory obligations to R. The Family Division so ruled in allowing a father's appeal (in part) against, among other things, the decision that R should have no direct contact with him. The court held that, in the circumstances, the judge should not have proceeded to a final determination that there should be no contact where there were still potential steps that could be taken to promote such contact.

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