Latest articles
Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust v DV (A Child) [2021] EWHC 1037 (Fam)
(Family Division, Cohen J, 19 April 2021)Medical Treatment – 17-year-old had form of bone cancer and required surgery For comprehensive, judicially approved coverage of every important...
Domestic Abuse Bill
Aaron Gates-Lincoln, Immigration NewsAfter years of development the Domestic Abuse Bill returned to the House of Lords in the UK on the 8th March 2021 to complete its report stage, one of the final...
Coercive control and children’s welfare in Re H-N and Others
When families come to strife, arrangements must be made for the future care of any children. In some circumstances, this means an application to the courts. These ‘private law orders’ can...
Profession: Expert Witness
The value of a family business or business interest is treated as an asset and therefore part of the matrimonial pot to be distributed when it comes to negotiating a financial settlement on divorce or...
How does a jointly held property pass on death?
When meeting with clients to discuss their succession planning, many cannot recall whether their property is held jointly as joint tenants or jointly as tenants in common. The distinction is that with...
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