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Non-molestation: a definition for 2018?

Date:8 FEB 2018
Third slide
Solicitor Advocate
What is ‘non-molestation’? How do family courts, by order, deal with ‘molestation’, as it is now defined in law? What is ‘domestic violence’ or (if different) ‘domestic abuse’? Each of these different terms crop up in different legal contexts; and – absurdly, it may be thought – each may mean something slightly different according to context.

The most recent definition is attempted by a practice direction – ‘domestic abuse’ in PD12J, para 4 (considered later); and this in a practice direction which only applies in children proceedings. Help is at hand from the Court of Appeal; and, as so often, from a judgment of Lord Justice McFarlane. In Re T (A Child) (Non-molestation Order) [2017] EWCA Civ 1889, the court considered the question of a definition of ‘molestation’ (the term used in the Family Law Act 1996 (FLA 1996), s 42). They pointed out – and without any reference to PD12J – that the law (statute and the Court of Appeal) has ‘consistently avoided giving a precise definition’ to ‘molestation’ (see [24]; but see Davis v Johnson (below)).

Read the full article here.