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Hair Strand Testing

Posted on 19th October, 2017

It is now becoming vital to order for hair strand testing to be undertaken in order to provide extremely beneficial information to determine how often or if indeed a person has been misusing drugs.In many family matters regarding children which reach the Court arena, there are serious allegations made by parties in relation to drug use.

Mr Justice Peter Jackson has offered suggestions as to how these reports might be written.

In H (A Child: Hair Strand Testing) [2017] EWFC 64 Peter Jackson J questions whether the evidence of ‘ostensibly positive’ hair strand test results which supported very low level or infrequent drug use at interim removal stage was sufficient to justify the removal of a baby at birth when balanced against the other evidence supporting no use.

The judgment concludes that inconsistency of findings from hair strand testing emphasises that numerical data should be received with proper caution and he states:

“[T]he writer [of a report] must make sure as far as possible that the true significance of the data is explained in a way that reduces the risk of it becoming lost in translation.”

This judgement is therefore important to all that practise in family law. At Jacksons we deal with Children Act matters on a daily basis and if you need any assistance please contact Louisa Bestford on 0191 2069617 or Emma Canham on 0191 2069621 to book your FREE 30 minute appointment.

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