Legal Update: Court Report - 'Lessons' to help European nationals

Coram Children's Legal Centre
Monday, September 14, 2015

Case name: In Re CB (A Child) Case number [2015] EWCA Civ 888

Judges: Lord Justice Munby, Lady Justice Black, Lord Justice Vos

Location: Court of Appeal (Family Div)

The case concerned an application for adoption of a child who had been the subject of earlier care and placement orders. The child and her biological mother are Latvian, though the child was born in England and had been habitually resident in England at all material times. In the course of his judgment, Lord Justice Munby set out a series of helpful "lessons" that must be observed in cases involving European nationals in English public law children proceedings, particularly those involving adoption applications.

1. Local authorities and courts must be appropriately proactive in bringing to the attention of the relevant consular authorities at the earliest possible opportunity the fact that care proceedings involving foreign nationals are afoot or in contemplation.

2. The court must, whether or not any of the parties have raised the point, consider at the outset of the proceedings whether the case is one for transfer of jurisdiction in accordance with the Brussels II Revised Regulation (article 15).

3. If there is no transfer in accordance with article 15, the court, if the local authority's plan is for adoption, must rigorously apply the principle that adoption is "the last resort" and only permissible "if nothing else will do" and in doing so, must make sure that its process is appropriately rigorous.

4. In particular, the court must adopt an appropriately rigorous approach to the consideration of the "welfare checklist" in section 1(4) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002.


Legal Update is produced in association with experts at Coram Children’s Legal Centre ?

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