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(Court of Appeal; 1 December 2011; Thorpe, Kitchin LJJ, Mann J)
A local authority sought care orders in respect of three Ghanaian children. The viability assessed the maternal grandmother as a potential carer. At the time of the assessment the maternal grandmother lost her own mother, travelled to Ghana and didn't return until shortly before the hearing. The assessment discounted her as a potential carer but she never received the report. The grandmother applied for an independent assessment and reconsideration of herself as a potential carer. The judge refused to grant her party status. The grandmother appealed claiming the case management process had been unfair. The decision had been difficult but the grandmother had been denied the opportunity to test the evidence against her and test the issue of delay.
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