The Supreme Court has today handed down judgment in the case of Williams v Hackney ; a case in which the local authority had accommodated 8 children under s. 20 of the Children Act 1989 in circumstances which the parents argued had infringed their rights under Article 8 of the ECHR. The Supreme Court has […]
Jonathan Cowen, Anita Rao, and Eleanor Sibley successfully represented Birmingham City Council in the Court of Appeal in an appeal against a decision of the Court of Protection that a 16 year old disabled child (D), who lacked capacity to make decisions about his residence and care, was deprived of his liberty in a residential […]
Genevieve Screeche-Powell considers the guidance given by Mr. Justice Cobb on the difficult and sensitive question of the observance of Islamic religious practice for an adult lacking capacity in the case of Re IH (Observance of Muslim Practice)  EWCOP 9. The case concerned IH, a 39-year-old man with a profound learning disability, functioning intellectually […]
Joshua Swirsky considers The Public Guardian’s Severance Applications  EWCOP 10 in which District Judge Eldergill gave guidance following 17 applications by the Public Guardian for LPAs to be severed. Intention Over Form In The Public Guardian’s Severance Applications  EWCOP 10 District Judge Eldergill considered 18 applications by the Public Guardian to sever parts […]
Alistair Cantor considers a recent decision of the Administrative Court in R (on the application of JF) v London Borough of Merton  EWHC 1519 concerning the lawfulness of a Care Act assessment and associated decisions made by the local authority in respect of the termination of an existing placement and the suitability of a […]
Jonathan Cowen considers the decision of the Administrative Court in R(Liverpool City Council and others) v The Secretary of State for Health  EWHC 986 (Admin) in which four local authorities challenged the sufficiency of funding for the deprivation of liberty regime.
Anita Rao considers the Court of Appeal decision in Re Z (a child)  EWCA Civ 157, giving guidance on who bears the burden of paying for translating documents in court proceedings.
If the young person wishes to challenge the age assessment he has to then obtain legal advice and, if appropriate, see an interim injunction. Sometimes the interim relief is applied for after the young person has been dispersed.
The 2 applicants in these cases that were heard together were from Afghanistan and Vietnam respectively. There was nothing remarkable about the facts of either case. Both raised factual issues that are to be tried by the Upper Tribunal, however, Popplewell J ordered that a ‘rolled up’ hearing to consider the challenge to LBC’s practice.
Hilton Harrop-Griffiths considers the decision of the Administrative Court in R (S) v Croydon LBC  EWHC 265 and the duty on local authorities to accommodate a young person pending the determination of an age assessment.
On 26 January 2017, the Court of Appeal handed down its decision in London Borough of Hackney v Williams and anor  EWCA Civ 26, departing from a long chain of Family Court judgments highlighting the necessity for local authorities to obtain the informed consent of parents prior to accommodating children under section 20. In a landmark judgment, the Court of Appeal held that although obtaining parental consent was good practice, and that the guidance of the High Court should be followed, the necessity for consent did not have the full force of law and could not found an action in damages under the Human Rights Act.
Permission to appeal was sought by the parents, arguing that this is a case of considerable public importance. The divergence of opinion at High Court and Court of Appeal level has created a lack of clarity as to the status of the earlier established guidance of the Family Court, and is likely to have significant implications for social work practice and the protection of vulnerable children.