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The Supreme Court’s Judgment on the Limits of the Exercise of Parental Responsibility

Date:29 OCT 2019

The focus of this case is whether the confinement of a young person aged 16-17 years-old found not to be Gillick (Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech AHA House of Lords [1986]) competent amounted to a deprivation of his liberty where his parents had consented to such confinement.

In a highly significant decision on deprivation of liberty the Supreme Court has held that parental consent could not act as a substitute for the subjective requirement under Article 5 ECHR for valid consent to the deprivation.

The Supreme Court held that deprivation of liberty in this case was attributable to the State; as human rights exist to uphold the relationship between private persons and the State there is consequently no scope for the operation of parental responsibility to authorise what would otherwise be an unlawful violation of a fundamental right of a child.


This case examines the relationship between the rights of children in the context of the use of parental responsibility and the rights protected by Article 5 ECHR.

The child at the centre of proceedings D was 15 when this case was first heard in the Family...

Read the full article here.