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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

02 MAR 2012

No positive duty to tell unlawfully restrained children of their rights

When a child may have been unlawfully restrained in detention, there was no duty to inform the child of this in order to allow the child to challenge his restraint.

The physical restraint of children in detention is not permitted to ensure good order and discipline. However, after investigations into the deaths of two children in detention it became apparent that in practise restraint to ensure good order and discipline occurred. The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) wanted to establish which former child detainees had been subject to unlawful restraint. However, the Secretary of State for Justice refused to provide these details. CRAE argued that there was a positive duty to inform those who might have been subject to unlawful restraint. Mr Justice Foskett disagreed.

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