COMMITTAL

09 Jan

A recent case highlights some more unusual problems about committals. This was an application in respect of a statement with a declaration of truth in which the father said he did not know where his son was, last seen six years previously in Afghanistan...

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A recent case highlights some more unusual problems about committals. This was an application in respect of a statement with a declaration of truth in which the father said he did not know where his son was, last seen six years previously in Afghanistan. Mother argued he was lying and so was in contempt of Court. Holman J dismissed the application on the basis that such had to be brought by The Attorney General or with the permission of the Court. As neither of those applied, he dismissed it. He queried whether a fresh application could be brought in any event on the basis of double jeopardy.

The additional and more entertaining problem was that the hearing was listed in Chambers on the notice outside the Court and on the published list which he said was a serious defect. He said:

"I deeply regret that irregularity. I take personal responsibility for it. I have learned the lesson that a judge must personally always check the cause list for defects of that kind. I can only say in my defence, or in some mitigation, that neither counsel, both of whom are exceptionally experienced, noticed or drew my attention to the defect."

So always check the list!

Hashimi v Hashimi [2016] EWHC 3112 (Fam)

Hugh Merry

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