The parents of Alfie Evans were represented by different barristers for the first time during today’s Court of Appeal hearing, it has emerged.
Paul Diamond, who had been representing both Tom Evans and Kate James in the ongoing battle over Alfie’s treatment, spoke only on his father’s behalf this afternoon.
Judges heard that Jason Coppel QC, an expert in EU law, was now representing Ms James, having spoken to her on the phone and reportedly not had time to read yesterday’s High Court ruling.
Mr Diamond, who works for the Christian Legal Centre, had been rebuked by Mr Justice Hayden at yesterday’s hearing for attempting to take the ‘moral high ground’ in the case.
Jason Coppel (left) represented Alfie’s mother, Kate James, at this afternoon’s appeal hearing, while Paul Diamond (right) was the barrister for Alfie’s father Tom Evans
A Sky News reporter at today’s hearing said judges had ‘expressed concerns’ after it emerged the two parents had different counsel.
Mr Coppel, whose practice has a ‘particular emphasis on EU law’, according to his website, submitted that European freedom of movement laws should allow Alfie to travel to Italy.
But the hospital’s lawyer said it would be ‘astonishing’ if free movement superseded Alfie’s best interest, the reporter in the hearing said.
Mr Coppel previously represented the Government in its legal battle over Parliament’s role in triggering Article 50 to leave the EU.
He had only come to the case at the last moment and had not had time to read Mr Justice Hayden’s judgment at the High Court, the Mirror reports.
At the start of yesterday’s hearing, Mr Diamond said: ‘It’s really an application for common humanity and common sense.’
Tom Evans and Kate James, who have been at the centre of a life-support treatment battle for their son Alfie Evans, pictured last year
But the judge interjected and told the lawyer to ‘confine himself to the law’ and avoid ’emotive nonsense’, later adding: ‘I don’t need to be reminded we have a human being. You do not have the moral high ground in this court. It is treacherous terrain.’
Mr Diamond is Standing Counsel for the Christian Legal Centre, and is described on their website as a ‘Defender of the Faith. ‘
Today he told the court the parents were not ‘seeking a miracle cure in Italy’.
‘They are simply seeking the palliative care that is needed,’ he said.
Christian Concern and its sister organisation the Christian Legal Centre have been involved in various high profile campaigns since being founded in 2004.
Among the issues they campaign on are abortion, adoption, marriage, education, end of life, free speech and issues relating to sexual orientation.
The Christian Legal Centre also spoke out following the case of seriously ill child Charlie Gard, saying that if the courts respected the rights of his parents Chis Gard and Connie Yates, it ‘wouldn’t have been too late to do the therapy’.