Public children—interaction between criminal and care proceedings
Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Public children—interaction between criminal and care proceedings

The following Family guidance note Produced in partnership with Katherine Illsley of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Public children—interaction between criminal and care proceedings
  • General approach
  • Disclosure of evidence into family proceedings
  • Disclosure of evidence into criminal proceedings
  • Implications as to case management

Practitioners dealing with care proceedings where there are concurrent or imminent criminal proceedings need to be prepared to deal with a number of issues, including one or both sets of proceedings seeking access to evidence gathered by the other, delay within one set of proceedings which has the risk of delaying the other, bail conditions having an impact on contact for the child with a parent, or therapy for the child being delayed unnecessarily pending the criminal trial. The Court of Appeal held in Re R (Children) that, as a matter of principle, it is fundamentally wrong for the family court to be drawn into an analysis of factual evidence in proceedings relating to the welfare of children based on criminal law principles and concepts. The focus and purpose of a fact-finding investigation in the context of a case concerning the future welfare of children in the family courts is wholly different to that of a prosecution before a criminal court.

The 2013 Protocol and Good Practice Model: Disclosure of information in cases of alleged child abuse and linked criminal and care directions hearings (2013 protocol), in force from 1 January 2014, provides guidance on the procedures to be followed when there are concurrent proceedings of this nature.

It has been suggested that the 2013 protocol is insufficient to address the issue of