Father begs judges to reveal details of his decade-long family court battle with his ex over access to their child
- He has been fighting for acces to his daughter, who is approaching 10th birthday
- Father from Norwich said he has spent £500,000 on lawyers during case
- Despite this, not one ruling by numberous judges has ever been published
- He spoke out after report revealed people have a ‘patchy understanding’ of family justice system
A father who has spent the last decade battling with his ex over access to their child has called on judges to reveal details of his case.
The man, from Norwich, says the fight began shortly after the birth of his daughter, who is now approaching her 10th birthday, and is still going on now.
He says he has spent more than £500,000 on lawyers and dozens of hearings have been staged in six courts in two different areas of England before numerous judges.
The father has called for a senior High Court judge to look into the case and publish details
But he says every hearing has been held in private and not one judge’s ruling has been published, in spite of judicial heads launching a drive for family court transparency.
He has raised concern in the wake of a report which said people were being left with a ‘patchy understanding’ of the family justice system in England and Wales because judges were not consistently following guidance on the publication of case rulings.
Academics at Cardiff University’s School of Law and Politics published the report in March.
They gathered data three years after judicial heads issued guidance to family court judges following ‘secrecy’ complaints.
He said he wanted to spend more time with the girl and she wanted to spend more time with him. He says judges have not listened to the girl
The man said his daughter lived with her mother.
He said he wanted to spend more time with his child and she wanted to spend more time with him.He says judges have not listened to the girl.
He said he would like Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Division of the High Court and the most senior family court judge in England and Wales, to read his case file.
‘I’d like Sir James to see if he thinks the process has been fair and transparent,’ said the man. I don’t think justice has been done to me.
The father does not believe justice has been served and wants details of the case published
‘More importantly I don’t think justice has been done to my daughter. I would like rulings to be published, anonymously, from my case.’
The man said hundreds if not thousands of fathers were involved in similar cases.
‘People should be given some idea of what happens so that lessons are learned,’ he said.
‘In my case, there have been hearings in the North East and in East Anglia. I’ve probably been represented by 10 barristers, including two QCs.
‘There have been complaints about judges and applications for them not to oversee hearings. Nothing has ever been published.’
Cardiff University researchers analysed more than 800 rulings published in the two years after transparency guidance was issued.
Their report says ‘only 27 judges and 12 courts’ sent more than 10 cases to the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (Bailii) website for publication during that period
Family court judges told researchers that they did not have enough time to produce rulings that could be made available to the public in anonymised form.
A researchers’ spokeswoman said: ‘(The research) suggests that guidance given to judges to routinely publish their judgments is not being consistently followed, leaving the public with a patchy understanding of the family justice system.’