Q&As

A social worker accessed an open Facebook site in a private capacity and came across a photo and the names of children in ongoing care proceedings. A screenshot of the information was taken. Can the information in that screenshot be relied on in the care proceedings and how does it fit in with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provisions on surveillance?

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Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk
Published on LexisPSL on 05/11/2019

The following Family Q&A Produced in partnership with Chris Bryden of 4 King’s Bench Walk provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A social worker accessed an open Facebook site in a private capacity and came across a photo and the names of children in ongoing care proceedings. A screenshot of the information was taken. Can the information in that screenshot be relied on in the care proceedings and how does it fit in with the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 provisions on surveillance?

The use of social media in legal proceedings has increased exponentially over the past decade. It is now commonplace for evidence to be harvested from Facebook, Twitter and other sites and used in court proceedings. This is particularly so in respect of private law disputes and personal injury claims. In re T (A child), Holman J noted that in a case where a person who should have been party to care proceedings (the birth mother) had not been located, the local authority (LA) and the guardian could have established a line of communication through Facebook. Counsel for the guardian at first indicated that the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) guardians were absolutely forbidden

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