February 5th, 2018 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

Re A-F (Children) (2018) EWHC 138 (Family) is a number of test cases listed before the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby. They raise various substantive and procedural questions in relation to the interface between care proceedings brought in the Family Court pursuant to Part IV of the Children Act 1989 and the requirements of Article 5 of the Convention, specifically, the circumstances in which Article 5 is engaged in relation to a child in the care of the local authority and, where Article 5 is engaged, what procedures are required to ensure that there is no breach of the requirements of Articles 5(2)-(4).

The President dealt with the general principles from paragraphs 8 to 40 inclusive of his Judgment, the question of whether it is possible to identify a “minimum age” at paragraphs 41-44 inclusive, and process and procedure at paragraphs 46-53 inclusive, the interface with care proceedings at paragraph 54, and continuing review at paragraphs 55/56. Read more »


Zambrano Carers: Children Act 1989

November 15th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The Supreme Court on 15 November 2017 in R (HC) v SoS for DWP (2017) UKSC 73 has unanimously upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal (2015) EWCA Civ 49, for substantially the same reasons.  The case concerns Mrs HC.  She is an Algerian national who has been living in the UK since 2009. She arrived with leave but then over-stayed.  In 2010 she married a British national on whom she depended financially. She had two children by him, in 2011 and 2013. Her children are British nationals. The relationship ended after domestic violence in late 2012, when Mrs HC sought help from her local authority.  Oldham Council, after initially refusing, agreed to provide Mrs HC and her children with temporary housing and £80.50 per week for subsistence and utilities, under Section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Read more »


Mental health after-care

November 2nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The question in Tinsley v Manchester City Council [2017] EWCA Civ 1704 was whether a person who has been compulsorily detained in a hospital for mental disorder under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”) and has then been released from detention but still requires “after-care services” is entitled to require his local authority to provide such services at any time before he has exhausted sums reflecting the costs of care awarded to him in a judgment in his favour against a negligent tortfeasor.  The Court of Appeal held that he is so entitled.  It is not the law that a Section 117 claimant can claim against a local authority for after-care services only once any award for such services against a tortfeasor has been, or is about to be, exhausted. Read more »


Abuse by foster parents

October 19th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In Armes v Nottinghamshire County Council (2017) UKSC 60 the appellant was in the care of the respondent local authority from the ages of seven to eighteen. The local authority placed her into foster care with Mr and Mrs A between March 1985 and March 1986, and with Mr and Mrs B between October 1987 and February 1988. She was physically and emotionally abused by Mrs A, and sexually abused by Mr B. The case proceeded on the basis that the local authority were not negligent in the selection or supervision of the foster parents, but the appellant claimed that the local authority were liable for the abuse, either on the basis that they were in breach of a non-delegable duty, or on the basis that they were vicariously liable for the wrongdoing of the foster parents. Her claim was dismissed by the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Read more »


Ordinary Residence

October 6th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In R (Barking and Dagenham LBC) v SoS for Health (2017) EWHC 2449 (Admin) Barking and Dagenham Council (“Barking”) challenged a decision by the Defendant, the Secretary of State for Health, that the second interested party, HR, was ordinarily resident in its area for the purposes of the provision of care services to him. As a consequence, Barking assumed responsibility for funding HR’s care. Barking contended that HR’s care should be funded by the London Borough of Redbridge, the First Interested Party, the authority for the area where HR grew up and was physically resident until he moved to accommodation in Barking in August 2012. Read more »


Registered Nurses

August 4th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The issue in Forge Care Homes Ltd v Cardiff & Vale University Health Board (2017) UKSC 56 was whether it is the NHS or local authorities (with means-tested contributions from clients) who are responsible for paying for the work done by registered nurses not only in health care settings but also in social care settings.  The Supreme Court, allowing an appeal by local authorities has unanimously held that, on the correct interpretation of Section 49 of the Health and Social Care Act 2001 (exclusion of nursing care from community care services), it is the NHS who are responsible for the payment. Read more »


Social Care

July 10th, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

Individuals claim to be an unaccompanied child asylum seeker.  The local authority assesses their ages.  It decides that they are not children, they are not under 18.  On that basis it has no functions in relation to them under the Children Act 1989 (“CA 1989”). However, pursuant to CA 1989, the authority had been providing services pending its assessment.  At the same time that the authority provided reasons for its age assessment decision it stopped providing their services.  That was in accordance with its policy or practice.  Is that policy or practice of simultaneous over 18 age assessment decision and withdrawal of services under CA 1989 unlawful, as being procedurally unfair and contrary to ECHR Article 8?  Read more »


Local Government Election Court

June 23rd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Elections and Bylaws, Social Care

In R (Rahman) v Local Government Election Court (2017) EWHC 1413 (Admin) a Divisional Court (Lloyd Jones LJ and Supperstone J) refused the Applicant’s application to amend the grounds of his application for judicial review of a decision of the Local Government Election Court which found the Applicant personally guilty and guilty by his agents of a number of electoral offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 (“the 1983 Act”). The findings of the Election Court had the effect of automatically disqualifying the Applicant from holding elected office until 23 April 2020. Read more »


Notice of Redundancy

May 22nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

In R (Forsey) v Northern Derbyshire Magistrates’ Court (2017) EWHC 1152 (QB) the claimant was prosecuted as a director of a company which entered into administration, and whose 84 employees at a warehouse were made redundant. It was alleged that the company committed an offence by failing to notify the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills (“the SoS”) in writing of a proposal to dismiss and make redundant 20 or more employees. The claimant is said also to be guilty on the basis that he had consented to, connived at, or neglected to prevent this failure. The failure was alleged to be contrary to Section 194 of the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (“the Act”). Read more »


National Minimum Wage

May 22nd, 2017 by James Goudie QC in Social Care

The three appeals to the Employment Appeal Tribunal in cases including Focus Care Agency Ltd v Roberts, UKEAT/0143/16/DM, consider the proper approach to the question whether employees who “sleep-in” in order to carry out duties if required engage in “time-work” for the full duration of the night shift, or whether they are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, under the National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and the National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 and 2015, only when they are awake and carrying out relevant duties. Read more »