Chambers News



11 May 2018

The Court of Appeal has handed down its latest judgment in the long-running case of Hart (Hart v Hart [2018] EWCA Civ 1053).  The eye-catching headline of this appeal is that it upheld a term of 14-months imprisonment passed on an 83-year old husband whom the High Court had found to be in deliberate and sustained contempt of court.  Such judgments are, inevitably, the product of their particular facts and it is hard to conclude that had the case not involved an octogenarian contemnor, it would not have been a particularly newsworthy authority.


But the judgment is significant, because the Court of Appeal robustly despatched arguments which, had they succeeded, would have represented a significant fetter on the ability of the Family Court to ensure that its orders are implemented effectively and as intended.  Anyone faced with a challenging case of non-compliance should consider what is said in Hart in support of any invitation to a judge to be flexible and inventive in its approach to enforcement and implementation.

Peter Mitchell appeared on behalf of the Wife instructed by Irwin Mitchell.

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