In Re P (Minors) (Contact): CA 15 May 1996

The father appealed an order refusing him direct contact with the child. The judge had made the order because he considered that the mother’s hostility to contact made it likely that her health would suffer if contact was ordered, and that the children’s health would suffer in turn.
Held: The appeal was allowed. Stopping a father’s contact with his child because of the mother’s hostility was wrong if there was no proof of real harm to the child. The evidence in this case did not justify a finding that contact with the father would put the children at serious risk of major emotional harm.


Hirst LJ, Wall LJ


Times 15-May-1996


Children Act 1989 1(1)


England and Wales


CitedClarke-Hunt v Newcombe CA 1982
Cumming-Bruce LJ discussed the difficulty faced by an appeal court: ‘There was not really a right solution: there were two alternative wrong solutions. The problem for the judge was to appreciate the factors pointing in each direction and to decide . .
CitedG v G (Minors: Custody appeal) CA 1985
A court should take great care before setting aside a decision of a judge which had involved the exercise of a judicial discretion. The court considered the duty of an appellate court in a children case: ‘What this court should seek to do is to . .
CitedIn re F (a Minor) (Wardship: Appeal) CA 1976
Bridge LJ said: ‘The judge was exercising a discretion. He saw and heard the witnesses. It is impossible to say that he considered any irrelevant matter, erred in law or applied any wrong principle. On the view I take, his error was in the balancing . .
CitedIn Re O (A Minor) (Contact: Imposition of Conditions) CA 17-Mar-1995
The court may impose detailed conditions on the form of indirect contact. His Lordship set out the relevant principles: ‘1 Overriding all else, as provided by section 1(1) of the Children Act 1989, the welfare of the child was the paramount . .
CitedIn re J (a Minor) (Contact) CA 1994
Balcombe LJ said: ‘But before concluding this judgment, I would like to make three general points. The first is that judges should be very reluctant to allow the implacable hostility of one parent (usually the parent who has a residence order in his . .
CitedG v G (Minors: Custody Appeal) HL 25-Apr-1985
The House asked when a decision, on the facts, of a first instance court is so wrong as to allow it to be overturned on appeal.
Held: The epithet ‘wrong’ is to be applied to the substance of the decision made by the lower court. ‘Certainly it . .
CitedIn Re D (a Minor) (Contact: Mother’s Hostility) CA 1993
Waite LJ: ‘It is now well settled that the implacable hostility of a mother towards access or contact is a factor which is capable, according to the circumstances of each particular case, of supplying a cogent reason for departing from the general . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 08 April 2022; Ref: scu.82102