Surrey seems to be the hardest word


The High Court decision in Surrey County Council v AB and Others 2014

This is a judgment which might be pertinent for an elephant in the room issue since the Family Justice Review started moving us away from independent experts. Once you take that expertise out of court rooms and decisions about families, what is filling that gap? Is it sufficient to treat all social workers as experts without considering the huge differences between an experienced and analytical social worker and a relative newcomer?

The writer is aware of a pending article for Family Law Week prepared by Miss Battie of counsel, which touches on this very issue.

In this case, the Local Authority ended up apologising, in writing, to the parents and grandparents because the social worker they had been allocated was “at the bottom of her learning curve”

[Just like any profession, newcomers start out new…

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Adoption proceedings – member of extended family wishing to challenge


The Court of Appeal dealt with the appeal of a non-parent who was not given permission to oppose the making of an adoption order.

(The relationship here is a tricky one – the appellant was the mother of mum’s partner, so had no biological or familial relationship to the child, but had been caring for the child for most of the child’s life before care proceedings were issued. “Extended family” is probably as close as we are going to get in terms of an umbrella term for someone like this)

 Re G (A child) 2014

It throws up what the Court of Appeal describe as a “technical novelty” (which is a phrase I may pinch for my tombstone in years to come  – assuming that I don’t imitate Woody Allen’s assertion  “I intend to live forever – or die trying”)

 The appellant could not seek to revoke the Placement…

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BRUSSELS was only the beginning: a Battle FOR Children – AGAINST Forced Adoptions & Deportations

Laila Brice

On 19 March 2014, Laila presented her petition regarding the return of her daughter to the EU Petitions Committee.
  • The official video is here.

In the same meeting, I presented the petition Abolish Adoptions without Parental Consent on behalf of all children taken into ‘care’ by Local Authorities in the UK:

Seven Action Points were expressed by the Chairperson and Committee Members:

More about the EU Petition on this page of the Portuguese Pedro couple who were part of the UK Delegation to Brussels.

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Care proceedings involving disabilities and /or deafness

Something to help support the deaf which is nice x


The Court of Appeal examined a case involving a father who was deaf, and overturned the Care Order and Placement Order, sending it back for rehearing    (it is something which you become painfully conscious of, when writing about a case involving a deaf person, how often the word ‘hearing’ is thrown around)

Re C (A Child) 2014

I became aware of this one a little while ago, but having been waiting for the judgment to be published.

If you ever have proceedings where one of the parents is deaf, the judgment is an absolute must-read – for social workers and for lawyers, but it also has some wider applicability, due largely to three issues.

I’ll deal with the wider applications first, and then the parts that relate specifically to parents with hearing disabilities.

Firstly, the Court of Appeal backing what Baker J said in Wiltshire v N and Others 2013  …

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