An expert panel debates Neutral Citation [2010] EWHC 2903 (Fam): 

  • Did this landmark case rely too heavily on lab results? 
  • Is evidence more rounded now – or have old habits prevailed? 
  • How will the ruling shape custody cases in the future? 

An exclusive podcast for Family Law Solicitors  
Coming in May 21 – apply for early access 

In his 2010 landmark ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice, The Hon. Mr Justice Moylan heavily criticised a custody case brought by the London Borough of Richmond. The borough had removed children from the family home, due to their mother’s history with alcohol – believing she had begun drinking again and now placed her children at risk. 

However – the lab in question reached their conclusion through a simple hair test, with no regard for margins of error.  

On hearing expert witness testimony, Justice Moylan dismissed the case – stating: “the hair testing evidence given in this case failed the parties and in particular the children.” 

It was a watershed moment, with implications for anyone building a drug or alcohol case against a parent or guardian. 

But now, a decade later, has the ruling made any material difference? 

In this podcast, our panel of experts debate the important questions: 

  • Was Justice Moylan right to conclude “you can’t put everything on the hair test”? 
  • How relevant is a hair test, given the built-in margins of error? 
  • What does the ruling mean for other tests, like hair/drug or blood/alcohol? 
  • Beyond forensics – what else should form part of the evidential picture? 
  • With the benefit of hindsight, what should the borough have done differently? 
  • Was the ruling downplayed due to budget cuts in the wake of austerity? 
  • Has anything really changed in the decade since the original case? 
  • Where does all this leave us now, as we face new safeguarding challenges? 

Join our co-founder David Atkinson as he asks a panel of legal, medical and biochemical experts, handpicked for their years of experience with drug and alcohol cases in the Family Courts. 

This is essential listening for any legal professional looking for a way through the maze of forensic testing. So as soon as it launches, we’re making it freely available to Family Law Solicitors licenced in the UK. 

PLUS – we’ll send you the original ruling and a transcript of the podcast, so you can work through it in your own way, and your own time. 

This exclusive podcast is due for release in May 2021. Add your details here to apply for early access: