David’s successful appeal against a decision, of the Court’s own motion, by HHJ Wright at the CFC to transfer care proceedings to France under Brussels IIA, Article 15. He represented the Mother, who opposed the transfer. The Court of Appeal agreed with David, for a range of reasons, that the French Court was not better placed to hear the case and the transfer would not be in the best interests of the 13 year old boy, who was the subject of the proceedings. The Court also allowed the appeal on the basis that the Court below had not given sufficient notice to the parties it was contemplating the transfer, as required by FPR 12.64. In addition, the Court of Appeal gave important guidance on the proper use of Articles 55 and 56 of Brussels IIA.
The High Court considered the Local Authority’s application for an order authorising the deprivation of a young person’s liberty, noting the lack of appropriate secure placements at a time of social emergency during the Covid-19 Pandemic. Chris acted for the father, who – together with the mother – sought to discharge the ICO and have the young person returned to the parents’ care. Judd J, noting the parents’ anguish, nevertheless concluded that the young person’s safety required that they be made subject to a DOL order
In a ‘remote’ final hearing of care proceedings, Mostyn J approved the Local Authority’s care plan for the child, EK, to be made subject to Care and Placement Orders. David Sharp represented the child, through his Children’s Guardian. For Eleanor Clotworthy‘s article on the procedural issues raised by conducting the hearing remotely by Skype for Business, published online by “It’s a Lawyer’s Life”, please click here
This was the first full tirla of care proceedings by Skype.
Deprivation of liberty orders should only be made if a child’s current circumstances justify the making of one. They should not be made on a contingent or anticipatory basis for such unspecified time when a child’s circumstances deteriorate.
Robin Powell, representing the Local Authority, successfully appealed against a finding made by the Judge at first instance that four rib fractures suffered by a baby were sustained accidentally by overlying while co-sleeping with her mother. The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal and remitted the case for rehearing. To read a full case summary, please click here
Joan Connell represented the children through their Children’s Guardian in a case in which the children’s mother had been murdered by their father. The court had to determine which of two family members, one paternal and one maternal, should care for the children throughout their minority and also issues of contact with the father in prison. The court also considered the legal principles to be applied in circumstances where a person found guilty of an offence refuses to accept the outcome of the criminal trial.
The court approved the Children’s Guardian’s recommendation for the child to return to the care of the mother under the auspices of a Supervision Order. The Judgment carefully considers the evaluation of risk in cases relating to past alcohol misuse and the duties of the Local Authority to identify and provide appropriate support.