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.
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This month’s summaries include:
- Case 1 concerns the use of social media by parents involved in care proceedings to share information and publicly protest about court decisions. The judgment provides a summary of the law on: restrictions on the publication of information relating to proceedings with respect to children; parents’ rights to freedom of expression; and the right to respect for private and family life.
- Case 2 and Case 3 review a much publicised case exposing the availability of care for young people with personality disorders at a national level. It concerns a young person soon to be released from a secure unit while still presenting a serious risk to herself. Initial plans were viewed as unable to meet her needs leading to a directions order requiring mental health assessments and a revised care plan with placement options. The identification of a placement in a safe and appropriate care setting ultimately involved a bespoke care package and the conversion of a PICU unit into an LSU unit. The case highlights the importance of care planning for young people with complex needs while reflecting on the available mental health provision for young people.
- Case 4 summarises the challenge to an adoption order made by a birth father on the basis of fraud. The judgment reminds practitioners of the conditions in which an adoption order could be set aside.
- Case 5 is a fact finding hearing regarding a birth father's previous involvement in the death of a child and domestic abuse. Findings were used to underpin decision making for a child (currently in foster care) and his placement.
- A case looking into the requirements for judges to provide adequate reasoning to support orders made during public law proceedings, including when considering post adoption contact. Case 6
- Case 7 summarises a judgment regarding the removal without prior notice of a child from the mother’s care. The judgment also deals with issues around assessment, care planning and legal advice and highlights areas of poor practice by the local authority.