Thursday Law Report: Conduct of Human-Rights Claims in Care Proceedings ; 12 February 2004 Re V (a Child) (Care Proceedings: Human-Rights Claims) ( EWCA Civ 54) Court of Appeal, Civil Division (Lord Justice Tuckey and Lord Justice Wall) 4 February 2004
Kate O'Hanlon, Barrister, The Independent (London, England)
APPLICATIONS FOR care proceedings to be transferred to the High Court for discrete issues under the Human Rights Act 1998 or the European Convention on Human Rights to be determined by a High Court judge were to be strongly discouraged, and might amount to an abuse of process.
The Court of Appeal considered two important questions of practice for all those engaged in the conduct of care proceedings in an appeal arising out of interim care proceedings.
The issues which arose were as to the manner in which any claim under section 7 of the Human Rights Act 1998 and any issues arising under articles 6 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights fell to be addressed in the context of care proceedings; and whether, and if so in what circumstances, it was appropriate either to transfer care proceedings pending in the county court to the High Court to enable points arising under the 1998 Act and the Convention to be addressed in that jurisdiction, or to adjourn such proceedings to enable discrete issues arising under the 1998 Act and the Convention to be addressed in the High Court.
Gemma Taylor for the local authority; Claire Jakens for the first respondent; Mary Lazarus for the second respondent; P. Bonner for the child's litigation friend.
Lord Justice Wall said that it was a matter of serious criticism in the instant case that neither the decision of Munby J in Re L (care proceedings: human-rights claims)  2 FLR 160 nor any of the other authorities had been cited to the judge.
The provisions of the Children Act 1989, generally, and of Part IV in particular, were compliant with the 1998 Act. Articles 6 and 8 were to a greater or lesser extent engaged in every application issued by a local authority under Part IV of the 1989 Act. …