Family Law Awards 2020
Shortlist announced - time to place your vote!
Court of Protection Practice 2020
'Court of Protection Practice goes from strength to strength, having...
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance Tenth Edition
Jackson's Matrimonial Finance is an authoritative specialist text...
Latest articles
Practical aspects to assessing competence in children
Rebecca Stevens, Partner, Royds Withy KingThis is an article regarding the practical aspects to assessing competence in children. The article explores a range of practicalities, such as meeting a...
Scrumping the crop of recent pension decisions
Rhys Taylor, 36 Family and 30 Park PlaceJonathan Galbraith, Mathieson Consulting2020 has thus far proved to be a memorable year for all the wrong reasons, but nonetheless it remains an interesting one...
Conduct in financial remedies – when is it now a relevant consideration?
Rachel Gillman, 1 GC/Family LawThis article provides an overview of all aspects of financial misconduct following the recent decision of Mostyn J in OG v AG [2020] EWFC 52, wherein all aspects of...
The treatment of RSUs/Stock Options in light of XW v XH
Peter Mitchell QC, 29 Bedford RowStock Options and Restricted Stock Units (RSUs) are frequently encountered by the Family Court when dividing property on divorce or dissolution of a Civil Partnership....
Hundreds of thousands of companies worldwide fall victims to hackers every year. Is your firm one of them?
SPONSORED CONTENT Image source: Information is beautifulYou and other lawyers and legal assistants in your firm likely have accounts on the hacked websites listed in the image above. If a hacker...
View all articles

John Hayes - Farewell to the Cogent Evidence Test: Re B

Sep 29, 2018, 17:27 PM
Slug : john-hayes-farewell-to-the-cogent-evidence-test-re-b
Meta Title :
Meta Keywords :
Canonical URL :
Trending Article : No
Prioritise In Trending Articles : No
Date : Oct 6, 2008, 08:47 AM
Article ID : 86609

John Hayes, Barrister, Zenith Chambers, Leeds.

The ruling of the House of Lords in Re H and R (Child Sexual Abuse: Standard of Proof) [1996] 1 FLR 80 (Re H and R) was handed down on 14 December 1995. It has stood unchallenged for over 12 years. In no care case which has reached the House of Lords since that time has any party invited the House of Lords to modify or overrule its earlier ruling. But, finally, in Re B (Children) [2008] UKHL 35, [2008] FLR (forthcoming), an attempt was made to do just that. The point that was raised on appeal was that a determination by the trial judge that there was a 'real possibility' of significant harm having occurred should lead the court to conclude that there was a likelihood of future significant harm and that, insofar as Re H and R stated the contrary, the House of Lords should depart from it. The appeal failed.

Is that the end of the story (and this article)? No, it is not. Because, presented with the opportunity to reconsider Re H and R, the House of Lords set in its sights another key aspect of the ruling: the 'cogent evidence' test. Of all the legal principles which emerged from Re H and R, this is probably the most widely known and most commonly cited test. The essence of the test is this: that although the standard of proof in family proceedings is the balance of probabilities, the more serious the allegation, the more cogent is the evidence needed to prove it. One important consequence of the ruling in Re B is that the Law Lords have bid farewell to that test. As Baroness Hale of Richmond (who gave the lead speech in the House of Lords) stated at para [64], 'It is time for us to loosen its grip and give it its quietus'. This article examines the reasons why the House of Lords took this important step. It proceeds to consider the implications of the ruling for future cases and concludes by raising some fundamental outstanding questions which arise out of the ruling.

For the full article, see September [2008] Family Law journal.

To log on to Family Law Online or to request a free trial click here.

Categories :
  • Articles
Tags :
Provider :
Product Bucket :
Recommend These Products
Related Articles
Load more comments
Comment by from