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Supreme Court to give judgment in case concerning inherent jurisdiction to authorise child's placement in unregistered secure accommodation

On Friday, 30 July 2021 the Supreme Court will deliver judgment in a case concerning the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise a child's placement in unregistered secure accommodation where insufficient places are available in registered secure children's homes.

The appellant, T, was a 15-year-old child who was subject to a care order. The local authority, CBC, wished to place T in secure accommodation. Since there were no places available in registered secure children's homes, CBC applied to the High Court for orders under its inherent jurisdiction authorising T's placement in non-statutory accommodation. T had consented to the restrictions on her liberty in the placements sought and submitted that the orders restricting her liberty were, therefore, unnecessary.

The High Court did not consider that consent to be valid, and duly made the orders sought by CBC. T seeks to challenge those orders. She does not object to the placements or the restrictions on her liberty, but wishes to be recognised as capable of consenting in law. The Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal.

The Court – comprising Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Hamblen and Lord Stephens – heard T's appeal in October 2020.
The judgment is expected to determine: 

For the Court of Appeal judgment, click here.