Alleged child abuse, confidentiality and the Jehovah’s Witnesses: Lancashire CC v E & F


In Lancashire County Council v E & F [2020] EWHC 182 (Fam), A & B, elders of a Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses, applied to have set aside a witness summons issued by HHJ Singleton QC on 29 November 2019 in relation to a case of child sexual abuse [1]. The parents were both JWs; their children were E (a girl aged twelve) and F (a boy aged ten). The Mother remained a member of the JWs in good standing; the Father had been “disfellowshipped” in 2017 but continued to attend services [3].

Elder A had informed the police that the Mother had, in 2016, disclosed to the elders of the Community that the Father had sexually abused E [4]. Continue reading