I think that I’ve found the Court of Appeal case from THIS Daily Telegraph story
Or rather, Rich Greenhill found it. My mistake in searching was to be looking for a case about Catholic Mass, Christmas, Catholicism or even religion. That turned up nothing, so it is more of a brute force approach.
All we really know, to find the case, is that it was an appeal from HH Judge Orrell, the report says “children” so there’s more than one child, and the original case was heard in 2009. Oh, and the Daily Telegraph father says that his oldest son is now ten, so we know that the case is about a boy born in 2004.
So, I found one Court of Appeal decision in 2009 from HH J Orrell, but it relates to one child, and doesn’t mention Christmas mass, catholicism or religion. I don’t think it is therefore Re B (a child) 2009.
And Rich Greenhill sent me Re F (Children) 2013, which is a refusal of permission to appeal from a judgment by HH J Orrell and it is about two children, and it does mention that the father would be spending some of the Christmas holidays with the children – there were a huge number of complaints by father, but attendance at Christmas Mass isn’t one of them. And the order being appealed was from 2011.
Initially, I discounted it.
But but but, the Re F judgment does describe the father as Dr F, and we DO know from the Telegraph story that the father in their case was a “51 year old psychologist”
The children were two boys, the oldest being born in January 2004, so I think that’s another tick in the box.
And the appeal hearing here is about final orders, and says that the proceedings began in 2009 so it is possible that we are talking about the same case, just at a later stage.
I’d be reluctant to put too much store by the Daily Telegraph father and Dr F being the same person – it might instead be that they are two unrelated cases and that the Court of Appeal case with Daily Telegraph dad has not been reported.
Those are the only two reported cases in the relevant timeframe where the Court of Appeal considered a private law case appeal against an order of HH Judge Orrell. And Re B doesn’t seem at all right because it was dealing with a 14 year old girl (who presumably would just decide for herself what she wanted to do on Christmas Eve) and not two children.
Re F – is an appeal from HH J Orrell, relates to two boys, the oldest is the same age as the Daily Telegraph story, and is private law. And the father in both cases has a professional qualification which might entitle him to be addressed as Dr.
Even if Re F is the same one, it doesn’t help that much, but it doesn’t actually report the substantial feature of the Telegraph’s story, which is a complaint that the Judge :-
(a) Made an order that wasn’t asked for
(b) Made an order that was unfair
(c) That order was requiring a father to take his children to Christmas Mass, despite him not being Catholic.
(d) Had done so as a result of the Judge’s own religious beliefs rather than on any argument.
And the appeal as reported doesn’t tackle any of that.