Case Law and Legal Summaries
Case Law and Legal Summaries: monthly overview and analysis of selected public law cases, highlighting implications and recommendations for practice.
This month’s summaries include:
- A local authority’s unsuccessful appeal against the court's refusal to make a placement order. The judge had made a care order for long-term foster care instead. The judgment highlights the need to provide sound evidence when the preferred option is adoption, including filing the permanence report and the agency decision-maker’s record of decision. Case 1
- A consideration of the relevance and admissibility of surveillance evidence. The local authority relied upon this evidence to prove an allegation that parents remained in a relationship. Case 2
- A summary of the CAFCASS guidance on the use of guardian's professional time to benefit children.
This month’s summaries include learning points for practitioners from:
- When can an Issues Resolution Hearing (IRH) appropriately become a final hearing?
In this judgment Lady Justice Macur DBE provides a useful summary of recent cases with clear guidance on the appropriate and fair procedures to be adopted at various stages including CMH, IHR and final hearing. Case 1.
- A case where a local authority applied not to serve Form C6A notice upon a father without parental responsibility.
The judgment provides a list of issues for the local authority and the court to consider when establishing whether ‘family life’ exists and whether a birth father without parental responsibility needs to be given notice of care proceedings. Case 2.
This month we include a summary of the main learning for practitioners from a judicial review of a local authority’s decision to place a child for adoption, where the authority was found to have acted unfairly and unlawfully in making the decision to place the child. This summary highlights the issues around fair information sharing with birth parents. Case 1.
Other recent cases also summarised include:
- An application for care proceedings to be withdrawn for a child after diagnosis with a rare illness. Case 2
- 2 follow up judgments to Re W (A Child)  relating to the date of the adoption order and the father’s appeal. Case 3 and Case 4.
This month’s summary also include a synopsis of the main points from the recent President’s Guidance on Judicial cooperation with Serious Case Reviews.
This month’s summaries include:
- A very long and complex case regarding an adoption order with many learning points for practitioners on drafting high-quality and precise threshold documents and reminders of the overall conduct required of professionals in cases of this nature. Case 1.
- An application for leave to oppose adoption and the court’s consideration of the law that applies, particularly Re B-S. Case 2.
This month we provide summaries of the implications for practice of 4 judgments related to:
- Child claimants in HRA 1998 proceedings and guidance around children’s guardians or other parties acting as litigation friends to children claimants
- The quality and fitness for purpose of social workers’ assessment of potential kinship carers. In particular this case highlights the importance of each assessment to identify and address the key issues for each case – in this case, the ability of potential carers to protect the child from the risk of harm presented by the birth parents
- The costs of translating documents within care proceedings and who should be required to fund translation costs, considering the circumstances of each case
- The principles around the judge’s evaluation of multiple expert evidence. This case related to injuries to a baby whilst in the sole care of the father.