Child protection
  1. Do you agree with Fox-Harding that the principles of paternalism and defence of birth parents’ rights underpin the CA 1989?
  2. Were the House of Lords correct to conclude in R (on the application of G) v Barnet London Borough Council et al  [2003] UKHL 57, that s 20(1) of the CA 1989 only imposes a duty on the local authority to accommodate a child? Should the House of Lords have given greater consideration to the rights of both parents and children under Article 8 of the ECHR?
  3. Do the courts have sufficient powers to scrutinise and, where necessary, intervene in local authority decision-making regarding the protection of children? Are there important gaps in the courts’ protective powers?
  4. Do you consider the new statutory time limit of 26 weeks for the disposal of care and supervision proceedings supports or undermines the court’s duty to act in the child’s best interests? What are the dangers of such an approach?
  5. What must the local authority prove on an application for a care or supervision order? What is the standard of proof on such applications and what regard, if any, should be paid to the inherent probabilities or improbabilities of a particular event occurring?
  6. Is the fact that a child’s mother was in the pool of possible perpetrators for causing non-accidental injury to a neighbour’s child relevant to whether the threshold is crossed with respect to her own child? Does it provide a sufficient factual basis for a finding that the threshold is crossed? Is it relevant at the welfare stage if the threshold has been crossed on alternative grounds?
  7. Given what the Supreme Court said in Re B (Care Proceedings: Appeal)  [2013] UKSC 33, would you extend the 26 week timetable for disposing with a care order to allow a very late request by the child’s paternal uncle to be assessed as a potential carer for the child when the alternative would be adoption?
  8. Does the English legal system provide adequate remedy when a child has been wrongfully removed from his or her parents on mistaken grounds of abuse?