DNA sample taken for criminal purposes may not be used for paternity test – Amy Woolfson

UK Human Rights Blog

dna-evidenceX & Anor v Z (Children) & Anor [2015] EWCA Civ 34 – read judgment

The Court of Appeal has ruled that it would not be lawful for DNA originally collected by the police to be used by a local authority for the purposes of a paternity test. 

Factual and legal background

X’s wife had been found murdered.  The police took DNA from the crime scene.  Some of the DNA belonged to X’s wife and some was found to be X’s.  X was tried and convicted of his wife’s murder.

X’s wife had young children and they were taken into the care of the local authority.  During the care proceedings X asserted that he was the biological father of the children and said he wanted to have contact with them.  He refused to take a DNA test to prove his alleged paternity.  The local authority asked the police to make the DNA from the crime scene…

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Landmark Ruling As Child In Care Proceedings Is Awarded Damages For the First Time

Researching Reform

The High Court has fined a council for what it deemed to be an unacceptably high level of turnover with its social workers, resulting in a breach of a child’s human rights.

The high turnover of social workers in this child’s care proceedings led to a string of errors and omissions which resulted in breaches of the mother and child’s right to a fair trial and their right to private family life.

This case is believed to be the first of its kind, in that it sees a child being awarded damages for botched care proceedings.

Northampton Children’s Services department was fined £17,000. Amongst the catalogue of failings were the decision to place the case with a newly qualified social worker, despite the case involving a 15 day old baby and a chaotic and careless approach to the baby’s life and future.

social work

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