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The President of the Family Division has handed down an important judgment which provides guidance on the practice to be adopted when court orders need to be served on a person who is thought to be residing at a women’s refuge. As the Court recognised, “[i]n such cases a tension exists between, on the one hand, the need for the court’s orders to be served and, on the other hand, the need to ensure confidentiality of the address of a refuge for the protection of the vulnerable individuals who have sought protection there” (§1).

The Family Court invited the Secretary of State for Justice to intervene to assist the Court on various issues of principle. The submissions made by the Secretary of State were largely accepted by all parties as providing common ground upon which guidance could be based. The relevant guidance is set out at §46 of the Judgment.

Jason Pobjoy acted for the Secretary of State for Justice.

Please see a copy of the judgment.

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