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

Date:6 OCT 2008

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...

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