Family Law Week judgment summary: S (Inherent Jurisdiction- Transgender Surgery Abroad) [2023] EWHC 347 (Fam)

15 March 2023

Lily Cooke summarises judgment in S (Inherent Jurisdiction- Transgender Surgery Abroad) [2023] EWHC 347 (Fam) for Family Law Week.

The decision related to a local authority's application for leave to invoke the inherent jurisdiction to prevent a 15-year-old from travelling abroad to undergo surgery, namely a double mastectomy. Sam was assigned to the female gender at birth but has lived socially as a boy for some years.

Macfarlane J highlighted that the Children Act 1989, s 100(4)(a) allows access to the inherent jurisdiction only if the result sought by the local authority cannot be gained by applying for an order that it is otherwise entitled to apply for under the statutory scheme eg a care order.

Also any application under s 100 Children Act would be expected to focus on issues of "significant harm" to the child, the child's welfare and the welfare checklist.

Read the full summary on Family Law Week.