The CA allowed a Father’s appeal against an order made in the High Court limiting the disclosure to be made to him within Care Proceedings. The Mother had applied to adduce a psychiatric report but had sought to disclose this only to the court and other parties. Limited disclosure of certain passages only had been ordered in the High Court. The CA ordered the whole report to be disclosed.
The CA allowed a Mother’s appeal against an order under the Hague Convention that 2 children be summarily returned to Australia. Notwithstanding the Mother’s effective admission that she had ‘strung’ the father along and caused him to believe that she would return with the children the CA held that the Judge had misdirected themselves in respect of the children’s habitual residence.
Elizabeth Watson having taken legal advice in respect of the above judgments applied to purge her contempt and her sentence of nine months was suspended (on terms of no further breach) for a period of two years allowing her to be immediately released. The judgment in Harris v Harris was then drawn to the Court’s attention which is authority for the proposition that the court had no power to impose a suspended sentence on an application to purge contempt. Ms Watson was therefore freed without conditions but with a stern warning as to the consequences of any future breach.
In relation to the same events as in the above case the President found Elizabeth Watson to be in contempt of court for breaching the reporting restrictions order imposed by Baker J and sentenced her to 9 months imprisonment.
The Court gave judgment in open court attaching an ‘information document’ in order to allow a Local Authority, Father and Guardian to disclose information relating to proceedings to set the record straight in a situation where the Mother with the assistance of Elizabeth Watson had disseminated deliberately misleading and incorrect information as to the reasons that her daughter was now in the long term care of her Father with no contact to herself. The Mother alleged that the Father was a pedophile who had sexually abused his daughter. This had been found to be untrue and a fabrication of the Mother in previous judgments which had not been appealed. A s.91(14) order against the Mother was also made to protect the Father and child from further litigation.