2012 09 Children

Monday 1 October 2012

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HH and Anor v Deputy Prosecutor of the Italian Republic, Genoa and Anor [2012] UKSC 25; BH and Anor v The Lord Advocate and Anor (Scotland) [2012] UKSC 24: These are several conjoined appeals against extradition. All appellants are parents of young children. There is little dispute as to the impact upon the children of the removal of their primary carers from the UK. The question the Supreme Court had to consider in both sets of proceedings is the relevance of the children’s interests in extradition proceedings and the weight to be given to the children’s best interests. Without that framework, the Supreme Court also had to consider whether the extradition of both parents or either of them would be proportionate. In the English cases, in respect of F-K, the appeal was allowed. In respect of PH and HH, the appeal were dismissed. In the Scottish cases, the appeals were dismissed. See the Scottish judgment here. See the English jugment here.

KA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 1014: (Vice President of the Court of Appeal, Hooper and Moore-Bick LJ) The Court of Appeal considered the correct approach to assessing the risk on return in respect of Afghan minors where they have reached the age of majority at the date of their asylum appeal. See judgment here.

A and S (Children) v Lancashire County Council [2012] EWHC 1689 (Fam) (Peter Jackson J): Two children who were taken into care were the subject of freeing orders which allowed the local authority to place them for adoption. Adoption plans failed for over a decade leaving the children in limbo, neither ‘looked after’ in law by the local authority under s22, Children Act 1989 as their corporate parent because they were no longer in care, nor settled into families where adoptive parents assumed parental responsibility for them. The Court found the local authority and the independent reviewing officer in breach of the children’s articles 3, 6 and 8 rights under the ECHR. An extraordinary case. See judgment here.

R (Y) v Aylesbury Crown Court and Ors [2012] EWHC 1140 (Admin): (Hooper LJ, Griffith Williams and Singh J) The Court considered the correct approach to the withholding of a child’s identity in criminal proceedings under section 39 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933. See judgment here.

R (TT) v LB of Merton [2012] EWHC 2055 (Admin): (Edwards-Stuart J) Successful challenge to the Local Authority’s policy in calculating special guardianship awards. See judgment here.

Other matters:

The Children's Commissioner has published a comprehensive report reviewing the way in which local authorities and the Courts have dealt with the age assessments following the Supreme Court's judgment in R (A) v LB of Croydon [2009] UKSC 4 3 years ago. See report here.

A new campaign, Every Child In Need, launched last week and seeks to campaign the Government against watering down the legal framework for protecting children in need. See more information here and sign an e-petition in support of the campaign here.

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