Williams v The London Borough of Hackney

In the case of Williams v The London Borough of Hackney [2018] UKSC 37, the Supreme Court has reviewed s.20 of the Children Act 1989 and given guidance in relation to its application.  Section 20 is an incredibly far-reaching statutory provision and is used in the context of local authorities providing services to unaccompanied minors, disabled children, abandoned children as well as children who are on the edge of care proceedings.  

A significant proportion of case law relating to section 20 deals with when a local authority's duty to accommodate a child applies, in circumstances where the local authority do not wish to accommodate.  Williams v The London Borough of Hackney[2018] UKSC 37 was about the opposite scenario; where a local authority wanted to accommodate but the parents wanted the children back. The question then arose as to what powers the local authority had in those circumstances. The guidance therefore focuses on that aspect.

You can view the full article on Family Law Week here.

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