(Court of Appeal; Thorpe and Arden LJJ; 9 February 2010)
An order was made preventing the child from contacting its mother. The parents applied for a variation of the order to allow the child contact with the mother. The child wanted to see mother and the guardian's position was that child should see mother if it was safe to do so.
The parents applied for the child to have separate representation, on the basis of conflict of opinion with the guardian. The application was refused and the parents' appeal dismissed. The child's expressed views were close to guardian's and there was no evidence to support the parents' argument that the guardian's wishes conflicted with those of the child. The judge had the discretion to allow separate representation, but it was reasonable for the judge to conclude that representation was not needed.