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09 JUN 2006

CONTACT: Re H (National Youth Advocacy Service) [2006] EWCA Civ 896

(Court of Appeal; Arden and Wall LJJ; 9 June 2006)

The parents had been involved in litigation concerning the father's contact with the child for a long time. Permission had been given for a psychologist to be involved, in addition to the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) officer. The father applied for the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) to be appointed to represent the child. The judge acknowledged that the criteria for such involvement were met, but refused permission on the basis that too many people were involved already.

When the criteria for involving NYAS were clearly made out it would be sensible for the judge concerned to consult NYAS, allowing the papers to be shown to NYAS, before making a decision. In the instant case NYAS would be performing a different function to that performed by the other professionals involved in the case and would be joined as a party to the proceedings, as the child's guardian.

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