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27 JUL 2015

Re Y (Wardship) [2015] EWHC 2098 and 2099 (Fam)

Re Y (Wardship) [2015] EWHC 2098 and 2099 (Fam)
(Family Division, Hayden J, 17 March 2015, 23 April 2015)

Public law children – Wardship – Inherent jurisdiction – 16-year-old at risk of travelling to Syria to fight for Jihad – Brothers had been killed doing so – Whether the mother was able to protect her son

Please see attached files below for each separate judgment.

In these two judgments the 16-year-old was made a ward of court due to the significant risk of him travelling to Syria.

The local authority sought permission to bring an application for wardship or for protection under the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court in respect of the 16-year-old vulnerable young man. His family were heavily involved in Jihadist activities in Syria. Two of his brothers and a close friend had been killed. His uncle was a detainee at Guantanamo Bay Detention Centre in Cuba.

The local authority believed that the young man might wish to join his family members in Syria and that his mother was unable to protect him due to the extent of her grief and resulting depression. He had been regularly missing from school and planned to travel to Dubai.

On the facts of this case the proportionality of a measure such as wardship was clear because it was ideally fitted to the very specific nature of the risk contemplated. The most effective measure to prevent travel was passport removal. When balancing the competing European Convention rights, the balance fell clearly in favour of protecting the young man. The wardship would be reviewed at regular intervals in order to monitor whether the balance changes.

In the second judgment the judge dealt with the publication of the two judgments and reviewed the earlier wardship.

Since the first hearing the professionals involved had achieved a constructive working relationship with the young man and his mother. The young man did not oppose the wardship but was reportedly bemused by the need for it.

Although the effect of wardship was that it deprived the mother of parental responsibility it was a less substantial intervention that the instigation of public law care proceedings. The risk involved was real and insidious and was, therefore, challenging to manage. It was a significant risk of very serious harm. The court was accordingly entitled to use the fullest measures at its disposal.

The mother opposed the continuance of wardship and submitted that she would not allow her son to travel. However, the court was satisfied that the mother was at present entirely unable to control her son's behaviour.

Wardship was continued.
Neutral Citation Numbers: [2015] EWHC 2098 (Fam) and [2015] EWHC 2099 (Fam)
Case No: FD 15 P 00121


Royal Courts of Justice

Dates: Tuesday, 17th March 2015 and Thursday, 23rd April 2015



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(3) Y (A Minor)

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Digital Transcription by Marten Walsh Cherer Ltd., 1st Floor, Quality House, 6-9 Quality Court, Chancery Lane, London WC2A 1HP Telephone: 020 7067 2900 Fax: 020 7831 6864 DX: 410 LDE Email: info@martenwalshcherer.com Website: www.martenwalshcherer.com

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MR. MARTIN DOWNS (instructed by Brighton & Hove Legal Services) for the Applicant
MR. PHILIP McCORMACK (instructed by Messrs. Harney & Wells) for the Respondent Mother
MR. JOHN STEBBING of Messrs. Stephen Rimmer for the Guardian ad Litem

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Re Y (Wardship) [2015] EWHC 2098 (Fam)Re Y (Wardship) [2015] EWHC 2099 (Fam)


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