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I’ll see your B-S and raise you JB

Sadly, Re JB (Children) 2013 isn’t up on Baiili yet, but it will be very important for anyone who is doing a case involving adoption.  It is Court of Appeal, and post-dates RE B-S – in one of those quirks, I think that when it was being orally argued, Re B-S was not out, but it was out and taken into account in the judgment.

You may remember some of these key points from Re B-S

1. Vital to have in mind the striking language used by the Supreme Court (for which read Baroness Hale) about proportionality in Re B

2. Linear approach (as in my last post) is out, and the Court have to look at all the options holistically

3. Judgment has to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages of each placement option for the child, with rigour

4. Can’t rule out the parents simply because that option requires more support than the LA wish to provide.


And we know that seven cases (so far) have had Placement Orders overturned and sent back for re-hearing for not following those principles, even though many of them weren’t in existance at the time the Court who made the order decided the case.


Well, in Re JB, the Court of Appeal identify that all of those features are lacking in the judgment. They also add in that there is a relative, rejected by the LA, effectively because the support that would be required would be too high.

What you would assume, therefore, is that the Placement Order would be overturned, and the case sent back for re-hearing, perhaps with some additional judicial guidance about prospective kinship carers and support and what Courts have to do when faced with a kinship carer who still seeks to care even when faced with a negative report from the LA.

No, the Placement Order stood.

In the interests of fairness, it will only be when the judgment goes up and I can draw out and quote how that decision was reached that we can hope to put it into context, but in a nutshell, the Court of Appeal seemed to feel that if the Court HAD done those things they would have reached a decision of Placement Order and there was enough in the judgment to make the Court of Appeal consider that the Judge was not wrong.

How that helps anyone call an appeal’s prospects of success now is very hard; and how a Court at first instance is supposed to look at these two authorities (not so much on the analysis of options but the ‘support’ and ‘nothing else will do’ options) is beyond me.

About suesspiciousminds

Law geek, local authority care hack, fascinated by words and quirky information; deeply committed to cheesecake and beer.

9 responses

  1. rebatchsoapbase

    Hi I dont believe you will read this and I apologise in advance for imposing on your time You see the LA have decided to fabricate an abuse case against me re my two severely disabled grandchildren and I cant seem to access any fairness!! I have complained but they dont respond and then you realize the Chair is not independent and their lies and malice keeps on layering I truly believe this is a witch hunt because I have not had the luxury of accepting the care package they have been pushing my way as the boys needs would not be met this way, so they have decided to accuse me of neglect ship them off to residential and set me up as an abusive grandparent they can take the boys off to a nice residential placement which meets their needs ………Oh and lets all the parents locally know !! if you mess with us !! complain or are in any way threatening

    WE WILL GET YOU NEXT!! Date: Sat, 19 Oct 2013 13:13:15 +0000 To:

    • Hello Wendy, yes, I have read your comment and am very sorry that you are in this position. If you aren’t able to get free legal advice or afford a solicitor, there are people called MacKenzie Friends who can provide assistance and advice to you. If you google “MacKenzie Friends in” (your area) I hope that you will be able to find someone who can help you out.

      • wendy same here very very similar i have a lovely mc kenzie friend helping me in fact suessupiciousminds will probably know him jerry lonsdale

      • hi wendy i am in a similar position to you but mine my own children currently trying to sort the mess out with a lovely mc kenzie friend who suesspiciousminds might know jerry lonsdale absolutely unbeleivable in my case hope it gets sorted in the end

  2. Hello,
    Going through Care Proceedings in respect of newborn at present where LA plan is adoption. My case is a return under an SO. Final hearing 6 weeks away. SW just filed final evidence and was directed by judge to re-submit because evidence didn’t take into account Re B-S.
    My question to you is this – since Re B-S have you seen in drop in the number of care and placement orders and a rise in other placement options being ordered? Realise it might be a bit early to say but I’d appreciate your thoughts? Also – is an SO more possible now as a result of Re B-S?

    • Probably a bit too early to say – my gut feeling is that there will be a drop in the number of Placement Orders made in next six months (annoyingly, because the statistics on applications for various orders aren’t readily available, will be hard to see) and I suspect to see an increase in Supervision Orders and Care Orders at home.

  3. Email sent to you Wendy.

  4. Pingback: I’ll see your B-S and raise you JB | Chil...

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