Lying in the Sun

Ward of Court 2

Ward of Court -2

Back in September 2013 in my above blog 'Madeleine a Ward of Court' I asked the following:

'Did the McCanns or do the McCanns have to consult with, gain permission from Mrs Justice Hogg (or whomever is the appointed person in relation to Madeleine being a Ward of Court at this time) before they can raise legal actions in the child’s name?'

It would appear that they do!

 Ward of Court: Decision issued by Judge in Libel Trial
1 Jun 2014

Judge rules that Kate and Gerry McCann do not possess the authority to sue Gonçalo Amaral in their daughter’s name. 

The judge at the Civil Court of Lisbon who is trying the ‘libel’ case which Kate and Gerry McCann have filed against Gonçalo Amaral and 3 other parties has issued a decision concerning the matter of Madeleine McCann being a Ward of Court.

On the 3rd of January 2014, Gonçalo Amaral had argued before the Lisbon Court that Madeleine’s parents do not possess the necessary power to represent their daughter in this action, since the child had been made a Ward of Court in the United Kingdom.

The judge decided that Mr Amaral should present a certificate of the relevant British judicial ruling. That certificate was delivered to the Court on the 2nd of May, after a lengthy, expensive process.

The judge then had to decide whether or not Madeleine’s parents were entitled to represent their daughter in this lawsuit. In the judge’s recent ruling, it is mentioned that “within the 'Wardship', the High Court holds ultimate responsibility over the child, but it does not suppress or annul the exercise of the parental responsibilities”. The High Court takes control over “the most important decisions for the life” of the child. The judge further considers that “the decision to file a judicial action in the name of the child” is a decision “of the magnitude that is demanded for the agreement or consent of the court”.

The judge’s ruling further notes that the matters that have been brought before the High Court that holds the Wardship have been matters of an “eminently judiciary nature, like the revelation of confidential information and documents, that are related to the child’s disappearance and were in the possession of the local police”.  

The text continues with the consideration that because Madeleine was made a Ward of the Court on the 2nd of April of 2008, her parents did not possess, in 2009, “the necessary capacity of representation of their daughter to file the present action without the authorization from the British court”.

Nevertheless, the judge has decided that the final court session, which will include a statement from Gerald McCann and the presentation of closing arguments from all sides, should take place regardless of the matter of the Wardship.

After that hearing is completed, the proceedings will be suspended for 30 days. During that period, Madeleine’s parents “shall arrange for the collection and documentation in the records of the British Court’s authorization for the bringing of this action on behalf of the minor Madeleine McCann”. If they fail to do so, the defendants will be “acquitted of the proceedings concerning the requests that have been formulated on behalf of the latter”.

The judge has proposed the date of 16th June for the final session, but each of the lawyers involved have the possibility of declining said date and suggesting alternative dates. 


So will Gerry and Kate McCann be able to produce the documentation required by the Court in Portugal?

Only if they did indeed make application to the British Courts for permission to raise this action in Madeleine's name against Dr Goncalo Amaral, and were granted permission will they be able to continue with this current action, that is the part of the action which is raised on Madeleine's behalf.

They cannot now make application, that is, they cannot now make application relating to the current case.

If they have not then the sum they are suing Dr Goncalo Amaral for will be greatly reduced by the amount they had been claiming for Madeleine.

One would imagine that if they had made application then the documentation in this regard would have been included when they originally raised this action?

Will they win the libel case at all, discounting the claim they had lodged for Madeleine?

Congratulations and very best wishes to Dr Goncalo Amaral!
1st June 2014
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