Hammerton v Hammerton: CA 23 Mar 2007

The husband appealed against his committal for contempt of a court order in family proceedings. The court had heard the wife’s application for his committal at the same time as his application for contact with the children.
Held: The appeal was allowed. The judge had erred. He did not enquire as to why legal aid had been withdrawn and the defendant left to act in person. He would have discovered that a review was to be heard and could have adjourned the matter accordingly. The defendant had not been advised that he need not incriminate himself when giving evidence on the contact application. Furthermore, if the committal application is heard at the same time as other issues about which the alleged contemnor needs to give evidence, he is placed in the position where he is effectively deprived of the right of silence.
Wall LJ, Moses LJ
[2007] EWCA Civ 248, Times 12-Apr-2007, [2007] 2 FLR 1133
England and Wales

  • Cited – Regina v Mustaq CACD 2005
    It is unlawful for a court, as a public authority for the purposes of s. 6(3) of the 1998 Act, to act in a way incompatible with defendant’s rights enshrined in article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. . .
    [2005] 2 Cr Ap R 32
  • Cited – Regina v Moran 1985
    The court noted the need for a court to ‘take stock’ before sentencing for contempt of court. . .
    [1985] 81 Cr App R 51
  • Cited – Aquilina v Aquilina CA 24-Mar-2004
    The applicant appealed a sentence of six months imprisonment for breaches of a non-molestation injunction.
    Held: The breaches had been non-violent, and the court had not considered whether he was prepared to purge his contempt. A balance had . .
    Times 15-Apr-04, [2004] EWCA Civ 504
  • Cited – Re K (Contact: Committal Order) 2003
    Proceedings for committal are a criminal charge for the purposes of article 6 of the Convention. . .
    [2003] 1 FLR 277
  • Cited – Re M (A Minor) Contempt of Court: Committal of Court’s Own Motion) 1999
    The court emphasised the need for time for reflection before making an order for committal for contempt. . .
    [1999] Fam 263
  • Cited – Practice Direction (Family Proceedings: Committal) 2001
    . .
    [2001] 1 WLR 1253
  • Cited – Hale v Tanner CA 22-Aug-2000
    When attaching a power of arrest on a non-molestation order the court should consider attaching it only to that element which restricts violence or proximity rather than to any part relating to harassment. When considering sentence for a breach, the . .
    Times 22-Aug-00, [2002] FLR 879, [2000] 1 WLR 2377
  • Cited – Saunders v The United Kingdom ECHR 17-Dec-1996
    (Grand Chamber) The subsequent use against a defendant in a prosecution, of evidence which had been obtained under compulsion in company insolvency procedures was a convention breach of Art 6. Although not specifically mentioned in Article 6 of the . .
    Times 18-Dec-96, 19187/91, [1997] 23 EHRR 313, 1996-VI, [1998] 1 BCLC 362, [1996] ECHR 65, 2 BHRC 358, [1997] BCC 872

Cited by:

  • See Also – Hammerton v Hammerton CA 12-Apr-2007
    Appeal against sentence of two months imprisonment for contempt of court. The court emphasised the need to ensure a fair process in such cases. The court was critical of the judge who sentenced a contemnor without hearing mitigation and without . .
    [2007] EWCA Civ 465, [2007] 2 FLR 133
  • Cited – Jones, Re (Alleged Contempt of Court) FD 21-Aug-2013
    The Solicitor General sought the committal of the respondent for alleged contempt of court. There had been repeated litigation between the respondent and her former husband as to whether the children should live in Spain with the father or in Wales . .
    [2013] EWHC 2579 (Fam), [2014] 1 FLR 852
  • Cited – Inplayer Ltd and Another v Thorogood CA 25-Nov-2014
    Appeal against a decision that the first defendant in a chancery action was guilty of two contempts of court by reason of untruthful statements in his affidavit. He complained of procedural irregularities affecting the fairness.
    Held: ‘the . .
    [2014] EWCA Civ 1511
  • See Also – Hammerton v The United Kingdom ECHR 29-Mar-2012
    Statement of Facts – Contempt of Court – failure to provide representation on committal . .
    6287/10, [2012] ECHR 562
  • Cited – V v W FC 2-Dec-2020
    XYZ had been appointed to value a family company within financial relief proceedings, but on seeking payment of their fees, and facing a counterclaim alleging negligence, they sought disclosure of the transcript of the Financial Dispute Resolution . .
    [2020] EWFC 84

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 03 December 2020; Ref: scu.250475