Dr Charlotte Proudman represented the mother in the High Court decision of A Local Authority v M & Ors. [2022] EWHC 81.


Dr Proudman was led by Sally Stone QC, 1GC and instructed by Harriet Brame, Miles and Partners on behalf of the respondent mother.

The case concerned FGM, forced and child marriage and domestic abuse in an extreme religious sect. The family are asylum seekers, feeling the sect from abroad. The judgment states,Individuals in the sect are controlled by elders, and have little freedom. Men and women have no choice as to who they will marry, and girls are married very young. Girls are forced to undergo genital mutilation (female genital mutilation type 4) under the age of 10. Women are completely subjugated to men and, according to the mother, they are beaten when they do not meet the expectations of their husband or family” (§4).

Rather unusually, a special advocate was appointed in the case to assist the court following concerns about the disclosure of information to another party. The judgment states, In June 2021 I made rulings that some evidence should be withheld from the father and appointed a special advocate to represent his interests within a closed material procedure (CMP). That decision has been the subject of earlier closed and open judgments” (§29).

The court made findings of fact on the allegations of domestic abuse and harm, as set out in the judgment.

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Related barristers: Dr Charlotte Proudman


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