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An adolescent’s right to liberty – restrictions on the use of her mobile phone

Date:18 JUN 2024
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Mary Welstead Visiting Professor in Family law University

The judgment of the Honourable Mr Justice MacDonald in January 2023 may be of interest to young people throughout the jurisdiction who regard their mobile phones as essential to their existence. The judge acknowledged their need to be connected and ruled that under the inherent jurisdiction a local authority would only be allowed to restrict the connectedness of those in their care in exceptional circumstances. However those adolescents who manage to read the judgment will be saddened to learn that the judge advised the local authority that even though its application under the inherent jurisdiction failed there were other means by which it might achieve its aim. 

The judgment is an interesting and thorough analysis of the law relating to the imposition of additional restrictions on children who have been deprived of their liberty; MacDonald J considered the European Convention on Human Rights and the exercise of parental responsibility by a local authority under the Children Act 1989. He explained...

Read the full article here.