Clarification from the President on the post Re B-S landscape

Clarification from the President on the post Re B-S landscape

In a judgment handed down today in Re R (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1625 the President of the Family Division, Sir James Munby, has addressed what he describes as 'widespread uncertainty, misunderstanding and confusion, which we urgently need to address' regarding adoption and that the decision in Re B-S (Children) (Adoption: Application of Threshold Criteria) [2013] EWCA Civ 1146, [2013] 3 FCR 481 is '...being used as an opportunity to criticise local authorities and social workers inappropriately' and that 'Re B-S did not change the law. Re B-S was primarily directed to practice.'

The President says (at para 44):

'I wish to emphasise, with as much force as possible, that Re B-S was not intended to change and has not changed the law. Where adoption is in the child’s best interests, local authorities must not shy away from seeking, nor courts from making, care orders with a plan for adoption, placement orders and adoption or

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About the author:

Geraldine is Head of LexisPSL Family. She was admitted as a solicitor in 1992 and was in practice for 15 years, most recently as a partner and head of the family team at Hart Brown, a large Surrey firm.

Geraldine writes for Butterworths Family Law Service and is a past editor of the Resolution Review. She has been published in the New Law Journal, the Law Society Gazette and the District Judges’ Bulletin as well as in the national press including the Times and the Telegraph.

When in practice she was a member of the Law Society Family and Children Panels, and an accredited Resolution Specialist with a focus on advanced financial provision and pensions. A past Resolution regional secretary and press officer, Geraldine also contributed chapters to the Resolution publications, International Aspects of Family Law (3rd Edition 2009) and The Modern Family (2012).