QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
Strand, London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
| HJ (By her Litigation Friend Ron Brejier)
|- and -
|LONDON BOROUGH OF CROYDON
HILTON HARROP-GRIFFITHS (instructed by Croydon legal Team) for the Defendant
Hearing dates: 6 February 2020
Crown Copyright ©
DAVID LOCK QC :
"Section 17 and Schedule 2, para 1 and para 3 together create a duty on the authority to assess the needs of each child who was found to be in need in their area R (G) v Barnet at ///; R (VC) v Newcastle."
"In my view Parliament cannot have intended a simple geographical test to be applied. It would mean that an applicant dissatisfied with his age assessment by the original authority (or with the standard of s20 accommodation and support supplied by them) could simply travel to another authority and demand to be reassessed, or provided with better accommodation. It would also encourage dumping of applicants by one authority on another: in Lady Hale's phrase, passing them from pillar to post."
""(3) Is he within the local authority's area? This again is not contentious. But it may be worth remembering that it was an important innovation in the forerunner provision in the Children Act 1948. Local authorities have to look after the children in their area irrespective of where they are habitually resident. They may then pass a child on to the area where he is ordinarily resident under section 20(2) or recoup the cost of providing for him under section 29(7). But there should be no more passing the child from pillar to post while the authorities argue about where he comes from."