Thursday, January 10, 2013

Slew of new children cases

There has been a slew of new children cases reported on Family Law Week today:

Firstly, C (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 1766, which concerned an appeal by a father within care proceedings against an order suspending contact. The appeal was dismissed.

Secondly, F (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1770, which involved an application for permission to appeal against the refusal of an application for contact within care proceedings, brought by the Official Solicitor on behalf of the father. This time the application was granted and the appeal allowed.

Thirdly, W (Children) [2012] EWCA Civ 1767, which concerned another application by a father for permission to appeal against a refusal to make contact order. On this occasion the application was refused.

Fourthly, E (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1773,  which was an appeal involving a 'short point of construction': whether the court is prevented by Section 100 of the Children Act from making a child a ward of court, where the child is accommodated voluntarily under Section 20 of the Act. The Court of Appeal held that it is not.

Finally, H (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1700, which began with these notable words from Mr Justice Hedley:
"Every human child is born unique and retains that uniqueness throughout their lives."
This was another care proceedings case, concerning an appeal by the local authority against an order which had the effect of adjourning the proceedings for thee months, and directing an independent social work assessment of a couple who had been involved with the mother. The appeal was dismissed.


  1. Just read H (A Child) [2012] EWCA Civ 1700
    and the last 2 paragraphs are a tribute to HHJ Bellamy, but a testimony to the best that our family law system can produce when the best interests principle is in serious dispute, not just from the family but professionals.

    We talk about risk, often in that sense of removal and safe distance, HHJ Bellamy may have put himself in the lion's mouth, time will tell us whether the jaws will close, but he has done so with great courage, for all the right reasons and I for one doff my cap to him.

    The only sour note in an otherwise spiritually uplifting judgement concerns that of the Guardians non involvement in the appeal....another invisible Guardian, made dispensible by the deep humanity and emotional intelligence of a gifted judge.

    1. Yes, it's an interesting judgment. Thanks for that.


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