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Supreme Court declines to hear appeal by Alfie Evans’s parents

Application based on habeas corpus refused

On 20 April 2018 the Supreme Court refused permission for the parents of Alfie Evans to appeal. The court, comprising Lady Hale, Lord Kerr and Lord Wilson, did so after considering submissions from the parties 'on paper'.

The parents of Alfie Evans had filed their application to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom on the afternoon of 17 April 2018. They wished to challenge the decision that Alder Hey Children's NHS Foundation Trust can withdraw artificial ventilation from their child.

This was the second application for permission to appeal. It came before the court on an application for habeas corpus, which was the only basis on which the court would have had jurisdiction to hear the case.

The court concluded:

"It is … clear law that the parents do not have the right to use the writ of habeas corpus to acquire the custody of their child if this will not be in his best interests."

On the first application that came before the Supreme Court, it agreed with the lower courts that "it was not in [Alfie's] best interest for the treatment which sustained his life to be continued or for him to be taken by air ambulance to another country for that purpose".

For the full text of the court's order, including the reasons for this decision, please click here. For the Court of Appeal judgment and summary by Oliver Woolley of 1 Garden Court, click here.

20/4/18