Clare Ciborowska, instructed by Emma Taylor, Partner at Goodlaw Solicitors, is successful in appealing the decision of a Deputy District judge to exclude evidence in respect of non-consensual sexual touching in public from the scope of a fact-finding hearing that the court had deemed necessary in respect of allegations of domestic abuse and coercive and controlling behaviour. The case will now be relisted before a different judge and will include the allegations in full.

The judge commented:

Undoubtedly, judges at all levels must robustly manage cases and consider whether fact- finding hearings themselves are necessary in a particular case, and if so, what issues it is necessary and proportionate to determine within that fact-finding process in order to inform an assessment of risk. However, in making those decisions a judge must have proper regard to PD12J and the guidance within both H-N and JK as to the approach to be adopted in cases before the Family Court in which allegations of domestic abuse are made. 

The full transcript of the appeal judgment can be found here.