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C (A Child): The judge who should have recused herself (and the perils of remote hearings)

I don’t usually comment on public law cases, but this appeal is not really about the subject of the case, and it certainly contains lessons applicable to all family law cases, if not all court cases, of any type.
Mrs Justice Judd was dealing with a fact-finding hearing in care proceedings in relation to a 16 month old boy. The purpose of the hearing was to establish the facts surrounding the death of the boy’s sibling.
The hearing, which began on the 1st of July, was a ‘hybrid’ one, taking place partly in court, and partly remotely, via Zoom.
The mother gave evidence in court. On the second day of giving evidence she complained of being unwell, with back pain and blurred vision. On the third day she said she had developed a cough, and Mrs Justice Judd agreed to her being sent home, and concluding her evidence remotely.
That is where the perils of remote hearings, and the use of the technology they require, took a hand in the proceedings.
Lady Justice King, giving the judgment of the Court …

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