Evidence in private law children proceedings
Evidence in private law children proceedings

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Evidence in private law children proceedings
  • Forms of evidence
  • Admissibility and credibility
  • Hearsay
  • Children’s evidence and children as witnesses
  • Vulnerable parties
  • Competence and compellability
  • Judge meeting with the child
  • Investigative interviews
  • Section 7 welfare reports
  • more

Note that on 21 November 2017, the Ministry of Justice issued guidance on a police investigation into the potential manipulation of forensic toxicology test results at Trimega Laboratories Limited. As a precautionary measure, the Ministry of Justice is currently treating test results from Trimega Laboratories Limited as potentially unreliable. Results from other forensic test providers are not believed to be affected. Hair strand testing for drug and alcohol use was undertaken by Trimega Laboratories Limited between 2010 and April 2014. The testing may have been used in both public law and private law proceedings. Local authorities have been asked to review their files to ensure that the basis of decisions about children’s safety and wellbeing is not now questioned. A new Form C650 has been issued for an application to vary or set aside a children order based on drug or toxicology testing. No court fee is payable for applications issued in Form C650. See: Ministry of Justice—Guidance: Forensic toxicology tests.

Forms of evidence

There are three forms of evidence:

  1. oral evidence by witnesses—this can be at court, via video link and can now include evidence given using technology such as Skype

  2. documentary evidence such as witness statements, reports, photographs and case records

  3. real evidence such as a site visit or marks on a person’s body

Under the Family Procedure Rules 2010