|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales High Court (Queen's Bench Division) Decisions >> SC v University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (Rev 2)  EWHC 1445 (QB) (04 June 2020)
Cite as:  EWHC 1445 (QB)
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable PDF version] [Help]
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
(a child, suing by her mother and litigation friend, AC)
- and –
|UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL SOUTHAMPTON NHS FOUNDATION TRUST
Katie Gollop QC (instructed by DAC Beachcroft LLP) for the Defendant
Hearing date: 3 June 2020
Crown Copyright ©
Covid-19 Protocol: This judgment was handed down remotely by circulation to the parties' representatives by email and release to BAILII. The date and time for hand-down are deemed to be 4pm on 4 June 2020.
Mr Justice Johnson:
Should the case be adjourned?
Would a remote hearing be fair?
"It simply seems to me impossible to contemplate a final hearing of this nature, where at issue are a whole series of allegations of factitious illness, being conducted remotely. The judge who undertakes such a hearing may well be able to cope with the cross-examination and assimilation of the detailed evidence from the e-bundle and from the process of witnesses appearing over Skype, but that is only part of the judicial function. The more important part… is for the judge to see all the parties in the case when they are in the courtroom, in particular the mother, and although it is possible over Skype to keep the postage stamp image of any particular attendee at the hearing, up to five in all, live on the judge's screen at any one time, it is a very poor substitute to seeing that person fully present before the court. It also assumes that the person's link with the court hearing is maintained at all times and that they choose to have their video camera on. It seems to me that to contemplate a remote hearing of issues such as this is wholly out-with any process which gives the judge a proper basis upon which to make a full judgment. I do not consider that a remote hearing for a final hearing of this sort would allow effective participation for the parent and effective engagement either by the parent with the court or, as I have indicated, the court with the parent…."
Should the hearing be conducted remotely?
Can the hearing be conducted in court?
"6 Restrictions on movement
(1) No person may, without reasonable excuse, stay overnight at any place other than the place where they are living.
(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1), the circumstances in which a person ("P") has a reasonable excuse include cases where—
(e) P needs to stay elsewhere to fulfil a legal obligation or participate in legal proceedings;"
"7 Restrictions on gatherings
(1) During the emergency period, unless paragraph (2) applies, no person may participate in a gathering which takes place in a public or private place—
(b) indoors, and consists of two or more persons.
(2) This paragraph applies where—
(e) the person concerned is fulfilling a legal obligation or participating in legal proceedings;"
Determination of application and directions for hearing