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What’s wrong with linear judgments? (£)

Date:3 SEP 2014
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Family Law

JUDITH MASSON Professor of Socio-legal Studies Bristol University

In a series of cases over the last 12 months starting with the judgment of McFarlane LJ in Re G (Care Proceedings: Welfare Evaluation) [2013] EWCA Civ 965  [2014] 1 FLR 670 judges have condemned social work evidence and lower court decisions in care proceedings because they were based on ‘linear judgements’.

This paper questions the basis of the criticism by examining how the term ‘linear judgment’ is used in the courts the potential defects of such judgments and how else the term may be understood. It makes the case for acknowledging a hierarchy of care plans consistent with obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights Art 8 and the requirements on local authorities in Children Act 1989 s 22C.

In considering what options are ‘realistic’ courts should be more aware ...

Read the full article here.