Lorna Cservenka appears at Cafcass to deliver training on racial bias issues in hair strand testing

Wednesday 27 March 2024

On 13 March 2023, Lorna Cservenka of the Garden Court Family Law Team appeared at Cafcass and delivered a presentation to a team of public law Children’s Guardians on the topic of “Is there racial bias in hair strand testing?”

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Lorna explored the issues of whether racial bias arises because of a range of issues such as:

  • Whether hair colour makes a difference to drug retention in hair;
  • Whether hair type makes a difference to drug retention in hair;
  • Whether the use of hair grooming products used by a person makes a difference to drug retention in hair;
  • What difference does thermal straightening of hair make to hair strand testing;

In discussing these issues, the question was posed whether there may also be gender bias in some instances.

Lorna is happy to discuss these issues and other issues relating to hair strand testing with other teams of solicitors, social workers and Guardians who are involved in public law children act proceedings where drug or alcohol hair strand testing is an issue.

In 2011, Lorna won the Family Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award for her work representing the mother in the case LB Richmond v B & W [2010] EWCA 2903 (fam). She continues to advise and represent parents and Guardians on hair strand testing issues that arise in her cases to date.

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