Radicalisation, care and safeguarding: Public authority actions and the family and public law crossover arising from the ‘Prevent’ duty

Thursday 2 February 2017, 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Garden Court Chambers

Date: Thursday 2 February 2017
Time: 5:30pm - 7:00pm
Venue: Garden Court Chambers, 57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ  

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Three experienced family and public law speakers from Garden Court will focus on the key issues arising at present that practitioners should be alert to concerning social services policies and other public authorities taking safeguarding measures under section 11 Children Act 2004 including:

  • Expert evidence
  • Discrimination issues
  • ‘Working Together’ guidance under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015
  • The current approach in family courts

This is the first of a number of events planned for 2017 regarding the Prevent agenda.

More about the issue

The Prevent agenda has been widely criticized as being counter-productive, opaque, potentially harmful and without any evidence base for its strategy or effectiveness.

Parliament, by the Children Act 1989, has provided a statutory scheme which governs public authority duties in respect of children’s welfare, private law decision making concerning children, and in particular circumstances in which a child may lawfully be separated from a parent by a public authority on protection grounds.

The focus here is on fundamental child protection principles establishing evidence of a threshold of risk of harm before separation of a child and parent can be lawful.

This system is fundamentally at odds with the ‘pre-emptive’ approach increasingly being adopted by public authorities in Prevent cases where a risk of radicalization is suspected.

How can we ensure that decision makers, including public authorities and the courts, continue to act in the best interests of children when there is a lack of understanding about best interests where a Prevent or safeguarding duty is at play?


Amanda Weston (Chair): Amanda has a broad public law practice encompassing judicial review challenges from community care, health, discrimination, prisons, citizenship and national security. A specialist in counter-terror measures including SIAC, she has been working on issues surrounding the Prevent strategy for the last eighteen months. This includes a test case challenging the National Probation Service practice of banning contact between TACT offenders and their children. Amanda is co-author of Jordan’s Judicial Review: A Practical Guide.

Rebekah Wilson: Rebekah Wilson practises in all areas of family law with a focus on acting for children and parents in public law proceedings and complex private law disputes. She is an expert in the interface between family and discrimination law which she has written and lectured about.  Rebekah is a committee member of the Association of Lawyers for Children.

Amina Ahmed: Amina has over 20 years of experience practising primarily within the area of public law care proceedings, representing parents, children, local authorities and interveners. Within this field she has experience of cases involving radicalisation, FGM and child protection. She also has experience of acting for Guardians in rule 9.5 private law cases, Adoption and Special Guardianship Proceedings and representing parents with a disability through the Official Solicitor.


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