The Court considered a complex UK-Pakistan case concerning the habitual residence of a child born in Pakistan to a Mother held there under duress. The child’s three older siblings having been born in the UK had been found to be habitual resident in this jurisdiction notwithstanding the time spent in Pakistan however the child born there had not been found to acquire habitual residence in this jurisdiction. The Mother’s appeal was unanimously granted on the basis that the court had the jurisdiction to make orders making the child a ward of court based on his British Nationality. However as this jurisdiction was an exceptional one to be used sparingly the matter was remitted to Parker J to consider as a matter of urgency whether it would be appropriate in this case. It was also held that if the court declined to exercise jurisdiction on the basis of nationality the Mother had liberty to make a reference to the Court of Justice of the European Union on the issue of habitual residence.
The Court made final adoption orders in a case where previously an injunction had been obtained to prevent the local authority removing a child from a prospective adoptive placement after medical treatment for a brain tumour meant the prospective adoptive mother lost her sight.
The Court made orders allowing adoptive parents to discuss with the media their difficult experiences of adopting a child with reactive attachment disorder. Permission was granted but delayed until January 2014 when the child K would be 18.
The Court allowed a LA to withdraw an application for a care order in respect of a child where it had become clear over the course of evidence that the Threshold Criteria would not be reached and that the allegations against the parents (including serious allegations of factitious illness) had not been properly analysed or balanced by the local authority before protective measures were taken.