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Supreme Court allows grandmother's appeal over residence

First family decision of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court, in its first decision on a family case, has reportedly overturned the Court of Appeal and the High Court in a case involving residence of a 3 year old child who had lived all his life with his grandmother.

The arguments in the case of Re B (A Child) (UKSC 2009/0019) centred on the significance of parenthood in the Court’s balancing exercise and the relative position of grandparents. In the event the original decision by the magistrates that he should live with the grandmother has been upheld. Reasons are to be delivered on a future date. It was an appeal from the Court of Appeal decision [2009] EWCA Civ 545 and the background can be read in that judgment.

The Supreme Court judges hearing the appeal were Lord Hope, Baroness Hale, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr and Lord Clarke. The grandmother was represented by Alison Ball QC and Peter Horrocks of 1 Garden Court and the father by Pamela Scriven QC of 1 King’s Bench Walk and Cherie Parnell of East Anglian Chambers. The mother was in person.