Max Lansman represents the mother in child contact application resulting in ‘landmark ruling’

09 June 2023

Max Lansman acted for a mother, as respondent, in a contact application concerning her young child with her ex-partner. In what The Guardian described as a ‘landmark ruling, thought to be the first of its kind’, the court:

  • vacated a fact-finding hearing which it had previously found to be necessary;
  • dismissed the father’s application for contact; and
  • barred the father from making any further applications with respect to the child for 12 months.

Exceptionally, HHJ Roberts took these steps based on the father’s conduct during proceedings. She found that he had been abusive towards court staff, local authority employees, Cafcass staff, solicitors (as well as towards family members) in the case.

She considered the father’s behaviour towards everyone involved ‘however peripherally in this case’ was so abusive that no trial was needed to determine the mother’s specific allegations against him.

She concluded the child would inevitably be exposed to the father’s behaviour were he permitted contact. Also it would be unreasonable to expect any professional to play a part in the father’s contact because of the abuse they would likely receive from him.

Read the judgment in full in Re P (a child) dismissal of application – abusive applicant) [2023] EWFC 86