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21 JUN 2013

Re J (Care Proceedings: Past Possible Perpetrators in a New Family Unit) [2013] UKSC 9: Bulwarks and logic – the blood which runs through the veins of law – but how much will be spilled in future? [2013] CFLQ 215

Keywords: Care proceedings - threshold - likely harm - possible perpetrators - relevant facts

The Supreme Court has ruled, with regard to interpretation of section 31(2)(a) of the Children Act 1989, that a person's consignment to a pool of possible perpetrators of harm to a child cannot alone found a conclusion that another child ‘is likely to suffer significant harm' at the hands of that person, although in an appropriate case the fact of possible perpetration may still be relevant to proof of the threshold when taken together with other relevant facts. This commentary examines critically the court's reasoning and the decision's implications. It is argued that much of the reasoning is unconvincing and the implications of the decision very worrying.

The full version of this article appears in issue 2 of 2013 of Child and Family Law Quarterly.

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