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Covert Recordings - Munby launches review in family cases

Covert Recordings - Munby launches review in family cases

Postby atticus » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:52 pm

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court, has set the ball rolling on a review of the use of covert recordings in family cases.
Re B (a child) [2017] EWCA Civ 1579 - see paragraph 35:
What Judge Bellamy's endeavours have usefully demonstrated, in my judgment, is the need for consideration to be given to what is a topic of growing significance for family courts in relation to which there is, at present, surprisingly little authority and no adequate guidance. In that sense his intervention has been both timely and useful. I propose therefore, as a first step, to invite the Family Justice Council, which as a multi-disciplinary body is particularly suited to undertake the task, to consider the whole question of covert recording from a multi-disciplinary viewpoint. It will no doubt wish to consider the various documents annexed to Judge Bellamy's judgment as well as all the other materials I have referred to. There are also interesting discussions to be found on the blogosphere – for example, in the Suesspiciousminds and Pink Tape blogs; no doubt there are others – which merit careful consideration.

NB I recommend both those blogs on family law matters.
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Re: Covert Recordings - Munby launches review in family case

Postby 3.14 » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:58 pm

Very interesting, The why was due to;

The point which is now before us arose because, as my Lady explained (Re B, para 6):

"The father in support of his case that this was a case of deliberate alienation by the mother, sought to rely on various covert recordings made by him over the years. The judge took the opportunity of inviting a number of interested bodies to make written submissions in relation to the use of covert recordings of interviews and telephone conversations with practitioners. Such an invitation was neither necessary nor relevant to the decision to be made by the judge, and on his own account was intended "to stimulate discussion on the issue out of which perhaps some general guidance might emerge". Mr Graham [he appeared before my Lady as the father's McKenzie friend] points out that some 20 pages of what is a lengthy judgment was concerned with a consideration in the abstract of the use of covert recordings. Mr Graham submits that such an approach was unhelpful and inevitably gave the father the impression that the judge was not focused on his particular case."

These covert recordings were, as the judge explained, of conversations the father had had with a social worker, a Cafcass officer and a solicitor.
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