2011 06 Children

Friday 1 July 2011

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R (HH) v City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court [2011] EWHC 1145 Admin (Laws LJ): whilst the best interests of children were a primary consideration in extradition cases, they could not generally override the public interest in effective extradition procedures. There had to be an “exceptionally compelling feature” giving rise to “the gravest effects of interference with family life”. The decision in ZH (Tanzani) v SSHD [2011] UKSC 4, [2011] 2 WLR 148 did not require any modification to the approach laid down in Norris v USA [2010] UKSC 9, [2010] 2 WLR 572. Click here for the transcript.

R (on the application of Y) v Hillingdon London Borough Council[2011] EWHC 1477 (Admin) (Keith J): Following a fact-finding hearing on age, the Court found in favour of an age disputed trafficked victim. In so finding, the local authority’s assessment of the young woman’s age is quashed. This is the first case in which the Court made a positive finding in favour of the putative child. Click here for judgment.

R (on the application of R) v Croydon London Borough Council[2011] EWHC 1473 (Admin) (Kenneth Parker J): This is the first case post- A v Croydon to consider the role of expert medical evidence in the assessment of age. The Judge found Dr. Birch’s statistical methodology unhelpful but found however that had she relied on her clinical judgment as an experienced consultant paediatrician, her evidence would carry a lot of weight. Click here for the judgment.

R (on the application of (1) E (2) S (3) R v Director of Public Prosecution[2011] EWHC 1465 (Munby LJ, McCombe J): The Court held that the CPS erred in law in deciding to prosecute a 14-year-old girl for allegedly sexually abusing her two younger children. The decision-making process fundamentally failed to take account of a multi-agency strategy group report which raised the concern that prosecuting the girl would not be in the best interests of any of the children.

R (on the application of TG) (Appellant) v Lambeth Borough Council[2011] EWCA Civ 526 (Lord Neuberger (MR), Wilson LJ and Toulson LJ): Where a social worker seconded to the Youth Offending Team arranges accommodation for a young person, the social worker is still deemed to be exercising a social services function within the meaning of s7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970. Thus, in circumstances where the child was accepted as a child in need and met the criteria for accommodation under s20, Children Act 1989, the accommodation arranged for him by the YOT social worker was accommodation provided for under s20, Children Act 1989, and not Housing Act 1996 accommodation. A declaration was granted that the child accrued sufficient time accommodated under s20, Children Act 1989 to acquire status as a former relevant child within the meaning of s23C(1), Children Act 1989 from his 18th birthday. Click here for judgment.

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