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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

13 SEP 2016

Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 937

Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 937

(Court of Appeal, Laws, McFarlane, Simon LJJ, 9 September 2016)

Public law children – Accommodation – 17-year-old ward of court – Whether the court had jurisdiction under the wardship or inherent jurisdictions

The appeal from a warship order was dismissed.

The now 17-year-old girl, who suffered from a significant learning disability, and her two younger siblings were the subjects of care proceedings as a result of sexual abuse allegations against her older brother. They were removed into foster care under interim care orders. A fact-finding hearing found the allegations proved on the balance of probabilities, and that the parents had been aware of sexual abuse but had failed to protect the children.

At first instance the judge ordered the 17-year-old to remain living with her current foster carers until she reached 18 and continued the wardship order. The mother appealed.

Since there was no jurisdiction to make a care order in respect of a 17-year-old, the issue arose of whether the court had jurisdiction to make orders under the wardship or inherent jurisdictions.

The appeal was dismissed. The court order did not more than provide that the 17-year-old should remain a ward of court during her minority. It was no more than a provision which provided a framework to facilitate and support the arrangements for the girl's accommodation, which were being provided under the statutory scheme.

Case No: B4/2016/1870
Neutral Citation Number: [2016] EWCA Civ 937

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM HIGH COURT, FAMILY DIVISION
Mrs Justice Hogg ZW14C00228

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Date: 09/09/2016

Before :


LORD JUSTICE LAWS
LORD JUSTICE MCFARLANE
and
LORD JUSTICE SIMON


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Re: M (Children)


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Ms Tina Cook QC and Mr Chris Barnes (instructed by FMW Law) for the Appellant
Mr Roger McCarthy QC (instructed by London Borough of Brent) for the First respondent
Miss Jane Rayson (instructed by Harris Temperley LLP) for the Second respondent


Hearing date : 31st August 2016


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Re M (Children) [2016] EWCA Civ 937

Judgment

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