Jay Banerji represented the Mother in an important case on unknown causation where an infant had sustained a skull fracture. No findings were made against the parents, and the proceedings were dismissed.
The case is reported in Bailii here.
Joan represented the appellant mother in an appeal to the Court of Appeal which argued that it can be right to use s20 accommodation for the long-term care of a child and that in suitable cases it is not necessary for the local authority to hold a s31 order. Joan, led by Deidre Fottrell KC was successful in arguing that the court at first instance was wrong to conclude that a child should be placed in long-term care under a care order when it was clear that the parents had no intention of disrupting the placement and agreed that residential care was the best option for their child. Cases in which the courts criticised local authorities for the improper use of s20 were distinguished. The case is important as parents retain parental responsibility on an equal footing to the local authority if the child is accommodated under s20 rather than a s31 order being made, strengthening the parents’ ability to advocate for their child and putting the parents and local authority on an equal footing.
This point is made in the article written by Joan and Tatiana Rocha which examined the case of Re S and its implications for other similar cases: “Putting parents on a level playing field: when is s20 appropriate for the long-term care of a child?” A copy of the article can be found on this link:
Ranjit successfully represented a mother who had been refused permission to apply to revoke a placement order made in respect of her children. The court of Appeal accepted his argument that the previous judge had placed the bar to high.
A judge is at liberty to depart from the Local Authority threshold document in making findings of fact against a parent, including a finding of a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour, so long as a parent has a reasonable opportunity to put his case on any additional matters and there is procedural fairness. The further the findings of fact deviate from the threshold document the more caution must be shown in ensuring fairness to the parent.
N (Children: Refusal of Placement Orders), Court of Appeal,  EWCA Civ 1652
A local authority, supported by the Children’s Guardian, appeals from the refusal of its application for placement orders in respect of children aged 2 and almost 4 who are presently in foster care. The Judge held that, despite many severe difficulties, it was better for the children to be returned to their mother under care orders, with restrictions on their father’s contact, than for them to be placed for adoption. The key issues are (a) whether there is any prospect of those restrictions being observed and, accordingly, whether the Judge should have refused to make placement orders and (b) having refused to make placement orders, whether the Judge should have made final or interim orders.
Second judgment in the High Court whereby Judd J recognised the improvements, but then decline, the subject child made in their bespoke residential placement. The Court made a Care Order and authorised a further package of measures constituting a deprivation of the child’s liberty in light of recent difficulties
Ranjit represented a father in the Court of Appeal where it was established that the previous judge had made a finding that exceeded the evidence available on that particular issue.
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.