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Radicalisation and the Family Courts

Date:26 JUN 2019
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Damian Woodward-Carlton QC Barrister 42 Bedford Row

Over the recent years the family courts have had to grapple with an increasing number of what have come to be known as radicalisation cases.  Fundamental questions necessarily arise – where does the balance lie between interference in family life and the freedom of individuals to hold express and act upon beliefs considered by many to be abhorrent? There are acute practical implications for child protection professionals.
This article provides a review of Guidance research and case law locating the cases in the context of the societal debates around religious and cultural identities and the perception of demonisation of particular communities. There is a particular focus on some of the particular challenges for lawyers including liaison with the police and disclosure the problems of proof and evaluation of risk and welfare decision-making (including the identification of suitable specialists/experts).

It concludes with an evaluation of where the increasing information and experience leaves family lawyers and child protection professionals in facing the evolving challenges posed by radicalisation cases.


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