Dr Proudman successful in domestic abuse appeal on behalf of a mother in the High Court


CM v IP [2022] EWHC 2755 (Fam)

Dr Charlotte Proudman represented a complainant of rape, domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour in the Family Division of the High Court. Dr Proudman was successful on both grounds of appeal:

Ground 1: The judge was wrong in failing to implement participatory directions to assist the mother, a complainant of domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour, to give her best evidence. There was a failure to address Part 3 FPR 2010 and PD3AA, which include an obligation on the court to address that issue. That, for convenience in this judgment, I will refer to as “the failure to implement participatory directions”.  

Ground 2: The learned judge was wrong in refusing to determine the mother’s allegations of domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour relevant to welfare decisions in respect of contact on a proper consideration of PD12J, and made no reference to the authority of Re H-N and Others (Children)(Domestic abuse: Finding of fact hearing) [2021] EWCA Civ 448.

The trial Judge at a final hearing failed to apply participatory directions or special measures for the complainant of rape. As a result she could see the accused – and he could see her – when she gave evidence. This materially impacted upon the quality of her evidence. The appellate court held that this constituted a procedural irregularity. In addition, the appellate court expressed disquiet about the guardian’s position in not supporting a fact-finding hearing and describing the allegations as “historic” contrary to H-N and Others. Morgan J held that the need for a fact-finding must be kept under review by the courts.

Read the case report here.

Related barristers: Dr Charlotte Proudman


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