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B-S compliance

I think that this case might be useful for practitioners (and perhaps even for Courts)

Re HA (A Child) 2013

This is a High Court case, decided by Baker J, in relation to an application for a Care Order and Placement Order.  The Judge sets out very carefully the jurisprudence, and does so with his customary style and efficiency – I don’t think many Courts would go far wrong borrowing from his approach as to summarising the relevant law.

What he also does, is set out the judicial analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the two main options. I think that this is useful because what Re B-S et al, have done is given us some very broad directions as to what the spirit of judgments would be post the new culture, but with directions, looking at a map of how someone else got there is much more useful in a practical sense.

Baker J does that here, and it is a good one to look at, to see how a Court deal with the B-S analysis in practice. (Of course, I could be wrong and someone will appeal and the Court of Appeal will look sniffily at it, but I don’t get that sense reading this judgment)

The Judge adds this remark, and everyone who has done care proceedings will pick up the point that Re B-S will inevitably mean that in some cases where a parent has made a difficult decision and is normally spared a painful examination of their mistakes being read aloud to them by a Judge will no longer be spared that, though it can still be done with some kindness.

 I have been very conscious preparing this judgment that the requirements explained by the Court of Appeal for a fully reasoned judgment mean that this court must be frank and clear in its analysis. That involves saying things which this mother will undoubtedly have found difficult and distressing. I regret that very much. I am only too aware that this mother has herself been a victim, both as a result of her disability, and her background. It is, however, unavoidable that the court has to set out in full its reasons for making this life-changing decision for H. The reasons for my decision, however unpalatable to the mother, have to be fully recorded.



About suesspiciousminds

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

2 responses

  1. Ashamed to be British

    One would hope that if we are to move swiftly into the realm of honesty & transparency, completely opening up these secret courts, then as unfortunate as this is for this particular mother, we cannot cherry pick what is ‘open’

    Wanting a change in the system, means we will have to take the good with the bad, warts ‘n all

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