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Section 47 report assessor in family proceedings should not carry out ongoing review

By: Shane Kiely BL

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High Court, in a motion brought by a father seeking to re-enter family law proceedings and to seek that the assessor who carried out two statutory ('section 47') reports be the person to carry out ongoing reviews, rejects the father's application, on the grounds that: the assessor should be different to the person carrying out the ongoing review, in circumstances where the father knew that the mother specifically did not want the section 47 assessor to carry out the ongoing assessments.

Family law - respondent father's motion to dispense with the Applicant mother's consent to attend with Professor S. for the purpose of the dependent children attending with Professor S. for the purpose of therapeutic care - motion also seeking re-entry of proceedings - mother agrees with Professor S. being involved but not for the purpose of therapeutic care - substantive proceedings were judicial separation proceedings that were dealt with on consent on 3rd April 2019 - two s.47 reports were created dated 18th November 2018 and 18th June 2019 - reports recommended ongoing review mechanism - the position is, as averred to by the father in his affidavit sworn on 21st January, 2020, that the ongoing review mechanism advocated for by Professor S. did not form part of the terms of settlement agreed between the parties - father was aware at the time of the settlement and at the time of the previous orders of the fact that the mother did not wish to personally engage further with Professor S. - mother does not want Professor S. to see her or the children - father knew that the mother specifically did not want children to attend with Professor S. - father made decision that he was going to try to push the issue despite mothers wishes - fathers application dismissed - parties to engage on obtaining different counsellor - issue of costs - Court awarding costs of defending this application to the mother.

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