Research Output

Patrick v Patrick and Re A letter to a Young Person : Judicial Letters to Children – an Unannounced, but not an Unwelcome, Development

  "A letter", Nietzsche once wrote, "is an unannounced visit, the postman the agent of rude surprises". Given the extremely personal nature of many family law judgments, it is rare and rather surprising when parties, their children or, indeed, the judiciary set out their views in the form of a published letter. Two recent cases in which courts have communicated their decision by letter (Patrick v Patrick and Re A letter to a Young Person) are therefore worthy of note. In each case, the letter was addressed to the children in respect of whom orders were sought. The children ranged in age from six to fourteen years.

Patrick, a decision of Sheriff Anwar at Glasgow, concerned a “bitter and acrimonious dispute” regarding whether a father should be entitled to “contact, in any form” with his three children described as being “aged between 12 and 6 years”. In Re A letter to a Young Person, Mr Justice Peter Jackson determined a relocation dispute involving a fourteen year-old boy who had been the subject of repeat family court orders since he was one year old. Both judicial letters received publicity, with excerpts from each being published in national newspapers.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    24 January 2018

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Edinburgh University Press

  • DOI:

    10.3366/elr.2018.0458

  • Cross Ref:

    10.3366/elr.2018.0458

  • ISSN:

    1364-9809

  • Library of Congress:

    K Law

  • Dewey Decimal Classification:

    340 Law

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Barnes Macfarlane, L. (2018). Patrick v Patrick and Re A letter to a Young Person : Judicial Letters to Children – an Unannounced, but not an Unwelcome, Development. Edinburgh Law Review, 22(1), 101-107. https://doi.org/10.3366/elr.2018.0458

Authors

Keywords

Family law, judicial judgements, communication,

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