Gemma appeared in a final hearing in respect of an inherent jurisdiction application, heard by Mostyn J, involving the removal of children to South Africa.

The case was heard via Zoom video-conferencing and was one of the first final hearings to do so. 

The case was reported: I and L (Children), Re [2020] EWHC 893 (Fam) (15 April 2020), the judgment can be found here. Download a PDF copy of the judgment here.

Three witnesses were cross-examined, the parties and a Family Court Advisor from the CAFCASS High Court Team. Mostyn J made a decision in principle that the mother could return to South Africa. However, the prohibited steps and passport order remain in force until the court has considered submissions on a return date. The court will only consider submissions from the mother regarding the return date when the UK and South African Governments consider that it is safe to travel.  

 

Mr Justice Mostyn at paragraph 38 of the judgment:

'This case was heard in the midst of the Covid-19 national medical emergency. The case was heard remotely via Zoom. It proceeded completely successfully without any technical hitches. I was able to observe that the mother and father gave their oral evidence. Although I have not placed any weight on their demeanour in reaching my decision, I can say that I felt no disadvantage in seeing the parties with crystal clarity on a computer screen rather than in the flesh. All participants conducted themselves with great politeness and efficiency, for which I am grateful.'

Gemma Lindfield is an experienced family law barrister and is regularly instructed in all aspects of family law.

She is also is an experienced extradition barrister and has been involved in some of the most complex and high-profile cases. She frequently appears in the High Court on matters of complexity. She is ranked in Chambers and Partners and the Legal 500 for extradition.