August Post of the Month

My Post of the Month for August is WHY CARE? by Lucy Reed at Pink Tape. The post is a reaction to the proposition (raised in an oral evidence session for the Family Justice Review) "that in our search [for] efficiency we need to seriously scrutinise whether or not there is a need for judicial sanction along the whole process we currently know as ‘care proceedings’" (see this post).

Lucy states at the outset that the post 'is not the beautifully crafted discussion piece' that she had intended to write, but she seems to me to have done a pretty fine job. She argues strenuously in favour of retaining court scrutiny of a local authority's powers. After all, she states:

"It’s about proper limitation of the powers of the state – the most draconian of powers that the state has are to imprison us and to take away our children. If those powers are not routinely subject to the scrutiny of an independent court what is left?"



  1. Isn't this a case of 'if you don't use it you'll lose it'? While I agree with Lucy that the power of the state to remove parents' children should be subject to proper scrutiny by a court, the Family Justice Review panel are presumably influenced by the fact that care applications are rarely refused (between 0.1 and 0.2%, apparently) and judges give the impression of rubber-stamping them. Removing the judicial option would save a great deal of money and make little difference to the outcomes of applications. The evidence published on Bailii is that these cases are hastily considered and result in judgements rarely longer than a page. The fact of the application seems to be taken as evidence that the threshold criteria have been met.

  2. Hi Nick,

    As Lucy explains in her post, there is far more involved than simply whether or not a care order is made, and I think that those dealing with these cases would find the suggestion that they are 'hastily considered' to be offensive.


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