The Hearing

‘Paper hearings’

‘Refusal to assess’ appeals are usually ‘paper hearings‘ unless you request an oral hearing.


‘Oral Hearings’

You do not have to attend, but it may be more helpful if you do,  so that you can ask and answer any questions about your appeal.

  • Oral hearings will be considered by a panel at a family court as close to your home as possible.
  • Usually the hearing takes one day, but could be over two days, depending on the appeal.
  • Sometimes a hearing may be adjourned.
  • The panel consists of a tribunal judge and up to two specialist members.
  • Your child may attend for all or part of the hearing, and all parents may attend
  • The judge will introduce and give an overview of the hearing
  • You will be asked questions and will also have the opportunity to ask any questions of the local authority and witnesses
  • You can make a closing statement or summary; it can be helpful to bring with you a photograph of your child and a copy of your child’s views, if you wish to share these with the tribunal panel.
  • The decision will be communicated to you (and the local authority), within 10 working days of the hearing.