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Evidence, Practice and Procedure: Confidentiality and children being heard – privately?

Date:30 JAN 2013

David Burrows - Practice of Family Law: Evidence and Procedure

David BurrowsPrivilege and confidentiality are topical. The Family Justice System's Young People's Board (children involved in care proceedings) have amongst their ‘top five wishes' that there should be ‘more support when we just need to speak to someone' and that ‘we have a way to tell the people involved in our case about the good and bad bits and know they would listen'.

Children want to be heard. Who they can talk to is one thing. The privacy of what they say is quite another: court proceedings are already in prospect or under way. The child's party status may considerably affect the answer. Gillick says one thing if they talk to a doctor (but see also W v Edgell [1990] Ch 359); legal advice privilege (LAP) says another if it is to their lawyer they talk in a ‘legal context' (Belabel v Air India [1988]...

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