Law Report: Case Summaries

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The Independent Online
The following notes of judgments were prepared by the reporters of the All England Law Reports.

Adoption

Re W; FD (Wall J); 9 Sept.

Where a mother was mentally disabled and incapable of caring properly for her child, an approach made by the child's maternal grandmother to an approved adopted agency with a view to making arrangements to place the child for adoption did not constitute a breach of s 11(1) of the Adoption Act 1976. The mischief at which the Act was aimed was the private placement of a child by an individual with another individual. Since an adoption agency was empowered by the Act to make such arrangements, discussions between an individual and such an agency could not therefore be in breach of the section.

Gillian Brasse (Solicitor, Camden LBC) for the local authority; David Boyd (Goodman Rae) for the Official Solicitor.

Child support

Re C; FD(Ewbank J);4 Oct.

The court had no power under s 50(6) of the Child Support Act 1991 to order the disclosure of the address of a father for the purposes of an application under s 8 of the Children Act 1989 made by a boy of 17 who wished to make contact with his father. However, the correct route by which such information could be obtained was that contained in the Registrar's Practice Direction of 26 April 1988 (1988) 2 All ER 573 under which a court may request the disclosure of an address held by a government department in the instances set out, including applications for any order under s 8 of the Children Act.

Charles Blake, solicitor (P Thompson) for the Secretary of State for Social Security; Mary Isles (Hereward & Foster, Canning Town) for the boy.

Police

R v Dorset Police Authoriy, Ex p Vaughan; QBD (Popplewell J); 3 Oct.

Where there had been no fraud on the part of the applicant, the decision of the medical practitioner selected by the policy authority to examine the applicant was final under reg H1(4) of the Police Pensions Regulations 1987 and therefore his decision that her injury was received in the execution of her duty as a police officer such as to entitle her to a policeman's injury award under reg B4 could only be set aside if there had been a want of jurisidiction or a misunderstanding of the law.

Gavin Millar (Russell Jones & Walker) for the applicant; Paul Cairns (Solicitor, Dorset County Council) for the police authority.

Prisoner

Secretary of State for the Home Office v Robb; FD (Thorpe J); 4 Oct.

In the case of a prisoner with a sound mind who had determined to continue his hunger strike to the end, the court, applying the test as to capacity in Re T (1992) 4 All ER 649, granted an agreed declaration that it would be lawful to observe and abide by the refusal of the defendant to receive nutrition and lawful to abstain from providing hydration and nutrition whether by artificial means of otherwise for so long as the defendant retained the capacity to refuse the same. The right of a person to determine his own fate was not diminished by his status as a detained prisoner and there seemed to be no countervailing state interest.

Nicolas Davies QC (Treasury Solicitor) for the Home Secretary; Nicholas Blake QC (Saunders & Co) for the prisoner; Huw Lloyd (Mike Hinchcliffe) for Official Solicitor.

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