“It confuses the crucial distinction, once upon a time, though no longer, spelt out in the rules of pleading and well understood, between an assertion of fact and the evidence needed to prove the assertion”
It is certain that most lawyers involved in childcare matters will read the decision of Sir James Munby in Darlington Borough Council -v- M  EWFC 11. However there are points made in that judgment of general relevance to all civil practitioners. It shows how easy it is to overlook the point that, at a trial, matters have to be proven by evidence. The case shows how evidence can be distorted, often not deliberately, and how matters can be asserted by a party which is, essentially, surmise and opinion.
The local authority was applying for a care order, and ultimately adoption of a one year old boy.
THE JUDGE’S CRITICISM OF THE CASE AS PRESENTED: THE NEED FOR EVIDENCE
- In the light of the way in which this case has been presented and some of the submissions I have heard, it is important always to bear in…
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