The soothing language of tolerance and inclusion used in relation to ‘transgender’ rights often masks controversial contentions. In this case the judge found that a child was abused due to professional failure to adequately challenge such assertions. Picture via Dreamstime.
In the landmark High Court case J (A Minor), Re  EWHC 2430 (Fam), Mr Justice Hayden placed a child with his father after his mother was revealed to be a drug user, worse who forced the child to live as a girl and even present as transgender despite the fact that when left to his own choices he presented as a boy. Chillingly social services failed to intervene swiftly due to an, “emerging orthodoxy”. Only material released by the judge in his public judgement appears in this article.
F and M, the anonymous parents of little J, separated before he turned one years of age. Contact continued on an informal basis until he was 6, when the father (F) sought a court order when arrangements broke down. In response, M accused him of being a violent alcoholic who could not accept little J’s ‘gender identity’. The mother said that little J presented as a girl.
Dr Ben Harper’s report was excluded from evidence in a family court case by Mr Justice Hayden when purported quotes from a mother during medical examination were found to be, “created by Dr Harper and attributed to the Mother”
In F (A Minor), Re  EWHC 2149 Dr Ben Harper was commissioned to write a psychological report on the mother of children who are the subject of care proceedings. He wrote an extensive, 70 page report and justified his findings in part by quoting the mother.
In the report, a number of passages were enclosed In italicised quotation marks making strident comments describing previous experts as, for example, “liars”. The only problem with this is that these quotes were made up. The judge found them to be, “[…] created by Dr Harper and attributed to the Mother […]” and also, “[…] a manipulation of material which is wholly unacceptable and, at very least, falls far below the standard that any Court is entitled to expect of any expert witness”.
That much could be easily found on Family Law Week … but it is not the first time a judge has looked askance at a report of Dr Ben Harper. I did a case law search and found three public reported cases naming Dr Ben Harper. One was non-contentious – he had carried out a capacity assessment and found a mother had capacity. The other case was A and B v Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council  EWFC 47.
The Witchfinder considers the arguments in the case of re D, in which Mostyn J and the Court of Appeal have a significant disagreement.
The High Court and the Court of Appeal have had a bit of a falling out over Re: D.
Re D concerned an 18-month-old child of Czech / Roma heritage, whose parents live in the Czech Republic. The question was whether the case of this Czech family should be dealt with in the UK or whether a request should be made to the Courts in the Czech Republic to take over the matter.
The case was managed by Mr Justice Mostyn, who gave a judgement in the High Court that the Czech Courts should indeed be invited to decide the matter. His judgement was later overturned by the Court of Appeal and then remitted back to Mostyn J to dispose of the remainder of the case. Mostyn J then gave a further judgement that the child could be placed with foster carers in the Czech Republic whilst taking a few swipes at the judgement of the Court above. The case is important because of its subject and interesting because of the strident judicial disagreements.
Your inquisitor finds writing about this case to be difficult, because he has the greatest respect for Lord Justice Ryder who delivered the judgement of the Court of Appeal as well as Munby LJ, who agreed with Ryder. Both are good and decent men – Ryder LJ is in fact the very first judge the Witchfinder ever appeared before back when he was a High Court judge. It is just that in this instance Mostyn is right.
Labour must take responsibility for the immense human suffering caused by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (Picture licensed from Dreamstime)
The Witchfinder discovers that the Court of Protection is now on the verge of collapse. Bombshell Court papers show that it is contemplating bulk Deprivation of Liberty applications without representation of the person being detained.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) has been the subject of unprecedented criticism. It is a law passed by Labour and intended to fill various gaps in existing legislation. Like nearly all Labour legislation it has been praised for its visionary principles but destroyed due to its cumbersome, expensive and poorly thought out machinery. That machinery is now falling apart.
McKenzie Friends are essential to the Court System. So what are they allowed to do, and when will the legal hammer come down?
The Witchfinder explains the law on McKenzie Friends.
Your author is a law student who regularly practices, charitably, as a McKenzie Friend and so I was interested to read Natasha Philips’ recent article on McKenzie Friends. Natasha is right about the essential support provided to our cash strapped legal system (especially the Family Courts) by McKenzie Friends but this particular law student wanted to clarify a few points as to what McKenzie Friends may lawfully do.
Your Inquisitor has encountered several barristers who are unclear on what the law actually regulates, including more than one who wrongly complained I was giving legal advice, when the guidance explicitly says that McKenzie Friends may do so and even charge for it.
The British Family Courts are quick to reach for the hammer. Why not use it to protect the right to full disclosure of evidence? Picture via Dreamstime
The Witchfinder examines another disturbing case in which hated circuit Judge, ‘His Honour’ Judge Cardinal withheld vital evidence from a woman desperate to be re-united with her disabled daughter, only to be overturned once again by a higher court.
In Christopher Bond’s well known stage version of Sweeney Todd, there is a character called Judge Turpin. One of the play’s best known scenes has Turpin passing sentence of death on a criminal for repeated crimes. Only once sentence has passed is the identity of the miscreant revealed (in the movie, by a dramatic camera pan). It is a frightened, crying, cowering child.
Of course all fictional characters have a basis in reality and, but for accident of timing, Turpin could have been inspired by the jurisprudence of Birmingham Judge HHJ Cardinal. Regular readers of the Witchfinder will recall Cardinal’s previous works –
The Witchfinder lifts the lid on the sinister world of the left and their hidden agenda of normalising the sexual exploitation of our children.
Equality Means *Protecting* Children. Photo licensed from Dreamstime.
A recent post by the incisive and beautiful Louise Mensch has alerted the Witchfinder to a heinous new law passed in Iran allowing men to marry their thirteen year old adopted daughters. It is, as she rightly says, a license for the most horrendous abuses of the rights of children imaginable.
The grim truth is that there are many in the left, even in this country, who agree with the proposition that the age of consent should be reduced substantially. In the fashionable Liberal and Labour salons of the so-called elite the prevailing view is that the current age of consent laws are a holdover from a prudish, Victorian, Conservative Christian past.
The best political figures of the year, according to the Witchfinder General.
It has been a long, bleak year. But the Witchfinder scraped through his law exams, which means this blog will continue and may even get around to some analysis of some case law. The Witchfinder will also continue his fair, just and reasonable approach to public figures.
For now though, the Witchfinder wanted to take some time out from persecution to recognise those political figures that are actually worthwhile and make a difference in a positive sense. So, without further ado, the Witchfinder recognises Grant Shapps MP, John Hemming MP and Louise Mensch.
The legal system is undergoing cuts. Not as some left wingers and vested interests say, for the purposes of undermining access to justice nor for some other pernicious reason but instead because this country is short of money. It helps that there are bloated and inefficient reaches of our legal system that may have benefited from a little judicious slashing anyway, but the grim truth is that resources are scarce indeed.
In this new environment where lawyers, like many professionals, must put up with falling revenues those who take time out to do pro-bono work should be praised and recognised.
Sadly, in Birmingham the saying that ‘no good deed goes unpunished’ seems to be truer than elsewhere. I write again on the unfortunate topic of HHJ Martin Cardinal. This time I refer to a Court of Appeal case where he was humiliatingly smacked down after wrongfully making a wasted costs order against an innocent solicitor. The judgement is available on BAILII, and is well worth reading. As ever the Witchfinder provides no more information in this article than is available in the public judgement.