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President orders return of children to families suspected of attempting to join Isis

Parents must wear electronic tags

In X (Children) And Y (Children) (emergency protection orders) [2015] EWHC 2265 (Fam), the President of the Family Division has ordered that the children of families who were suspected of attempting to travel overseas to join Isis fighters should be returned to them. The children had been removed under interim care orders.

It is a condition of the President's order that the parents wear electronic tags, which they had volunteered to do.

The President said:

"I accept that there is some degree of risk of successful flight. I cannot go quite as far as Mr Rowley [counsel for one of the mothers]when he asserts that it is reduced to an effective nullity by the protective measures he proposes, but taking a realistic view, though not forgetting that we are here in the realm of unknown unknowns, my considered assessment is that the degree of that risk is very small, indeed, so small that it is counter-balanced by the children's welfare needs to be returned to parental care. I should add, to make plain, that in relation to their welfare (leaving flight risk on one side), the benefits all of these children will derive from being returned to their parents clearly, in my judgment, outweigh any and all of such contrary welfare arguments as have deployed by the local authorities or the guardians."

For more details, please see the news report in The Independent. For the judgment itself, please click here.