Children on Section 20 – long delays breaching the law?

The Supreme Court has warned that keeping children in section 20 arrangements for long periods without initiating care proceedings could breach the law, even if section 20 itself does not place time limits on accommodation arrangements. The judgment, made today, dismissed the appeal of a couple against a Court of Appeal ruling that Hackney council had lawfully accommodated their children under section 20 of the Children Act 1989 and, consequently, had not breached their human rights.

The Court of Appeal had overturned an earlier judgment by the High Court, which had ruled there had been no lawful basis for the children’s accommodation, meaning that the couple’s rights to private and family life, under article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, had been breached.

Link: Community Care

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