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CARE/IMMIGRATION: Re L (Care Order: Immigration Powers to Remove) [2007] EWHC 158 (Fam)
Date:28 MAR 2007

(Family Division; Holman J; 17 January 2007)

Making a care order which was necessary for the welfare of the child, and not in any way related to the immigration issues concerning the child and mother, the court held that Children Act 1989, s 33(7), under which a child under a care order could not be removed from the UK without either the written consent of every person with parental responsibility for the child or the leave of the court, did not apply to the Secretary of State for the Home Department and did not prevent him from deciding to remove the child under the immigration legislation. The statutory purpose of s 33(7) was clear: to prevent a child who was the subject of a care order being removed by a person with parental responsibility without the written consent of the local authority, alternatively that of the court; and also to prevent the authority from arranging the removal or emigration of the child without the consent of the child's parents or alternatively that of the court. Parliament had not intended by enacting s 33(7) to outflank the powers and duties entrusted to the Secretary of State under the immigration legislation.