A mother whose children were removed from her care against their wishes after an unregulated psychologist said she had “alienated” them from their father has lost a high court appeal to have her case reopened.
The landmark test case came before the president of the family division in England and Wales, Sir Andrew McFarlane, who has said he will reinforce the need for the courts to follow guidance on appointing experts in his forthcoming judgment.
During the public hearing, held remotely, the court heard that under the current rules “anyone can call themselves a psychologist” and that there was no definition of “an expert”.
The appeal came after a judge in Peterborough refused to order a re-hearing after the mother complained that the psychologist who assessed her children was “not an appropriately qualified expert”.
Judge Lindsay Davies ruled the children should move to live with their father after accepting Melanie Gill’s “conclusions about alienation”.Read more: UK woman whose children were removed against their wishes loses appeal