Deprivation of Liberty

Deprivation of Liberty

AB (A Child : human rights) [2021] EWFC B100 (01 April 2021) In this case, the Local Authority had not followed the proper legal procedures to deprive a child of their liberty whilst the case was before the court in care proceedings.

The Judge was told about concerns and allegations at the child’s residential unit on the first day of the final hearing and the hearing was delayed for further enquiries to be made. It then transpired that the unit in which the child was placed was not fit for purpose and was closed down by Ofsted.

The Local Authority applied to lawfully continue to deprive the child of their liberty in a different residential setting.   

The Judge made important comments about the considerations of the court when considering whether to deprive a child of their liberty. Also, the Judge reminded parties that the role of a children’s guardian within court proceedings includes an obligation “to safeguard the interests of the child” and therefore the guardian has a duty to take proactive steps to safeguard the child. The Judge apologised to the child that, in this case, there had been failures in keeping them safe.

The full case can be viewed here: