Jo Farquharson and Gail Hadley, Barristers, Colleton Chambers, Exeter
Does the High Court have the power under its inherent jurisdiction to authorize the detention of a young person in secure accommodation where that person cannot be secured under section 25 of the Children Act 1989?
Where statute does not cover that young person's circumstances permitting a section 25 order, but the High Court considers she should be secured in her own best interests, can the High Court authorize secure accommodation notwithstanding the lack of statutory power? Just how far-reaching are the "theoretically limitless" powers of the High Court once a young person has become a Ward of Court? Three barristers from the Western Circuit encountered this problem recently in the High Court in Bristol, and write about their experience in a joint article.
The full version of this article appears in the February 2014 issue of Family Law.