"Two weeks ago, Munby again made headlines when he and two other judges in the Appeal Court magisterially tore apart a Liverpool judge, Robert Dodds, for his handling of a case-management hearing involving an intelligent boy, described as an “over-achiever” at school, who was desperate to return to live with his mother."
"In 2012, Liverpool social workers sent the boy to live with his abusive father, who was sent to jail for assaulting him. They then placed him miserably in 14 different foster homes. The social workers were now considering that it might be best for him to return to his mother. But Dodds refused to hear any evidence and, without issuing a formal judgment or even giving his reasons, instantly ordered that the boy must remain in care."
"After highly critical rulings from the other two judges, Munby weighed in by saying that he wished to emphasise two “important” points. The first was that it is “one of the oldest principles of our law”, going back 400 years, that “no one is to be condemned unheard”. Any “parent faced with the removal of their child must be entitled to make their case to the court”; and if they wish “to give evidence in answer to a local authority’s care application”, they must be permitted to do so. Secondly “there is the right to confront one’s accusers”, and to cross-examine any important witness on whose evidence the local authority is relying. Judge Dodds’s adoption of such a “ruthlessly truncated process” in this case was “fundamentally unprincipled and unfair”.