Tag Archives: mental health

(C) Lancaster University

Why Shouldn’t “Lunatics” Run the “Asylum”?: Re A (Application for DNA Testing) and Attitudes to Children in Proceedings

Dr Aoife Daly

Staff at the European Children’s Rights Unit (University of Liverpool) and elsewhere are involved in Children’s Rights Judgments – a project to progress the use of a children’s rights approach in judgment writing. Re A (Application for DNA Testing) [2015] EWCA Civ 133 concerns an appeal against a judgment of the Liverpool County Court and it provides a notable case study to consider from a children’s rights perspective. It is probably the least child-friendly judgment you are likely to see in this jurisdiction in recent times. The reaction by a judge to the application of a child for a court order makes for extraordinary reading, and serves as a reminder of the distance left to travel in terms of universal acceptance of children’s rights as legal actors and indeed as human beings.

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Forced caesarean and forced adoption: Facts and fictions – Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (COP); Re P (A Child) [2013] EW Misc 20 (CC) – Part I

Dr Sara Fovargue

Towards the end of 2013 it was reported in the media that a declaration had been issued by the Court of Protection on 23 August 2012 (transcript published on 4 December 2013) that it was lawful for a caesarean section to be performed on a 35 year old Italian citizen against her will, and a care order regarding the baby was subsequently obtained by the local authority.  Headline writers had a field day; ‘Child taken from womb by social services’, ‘Please don’t take my baby: Agony of mother whose baby was put up for adoption after secret court judge forced her to have a caesarean’, ‘Forced caesarean case: Italian woman “suffering like an animal”’.  The judgment and transcript of the caesarean case and the case report concerning the adoption tell a slightly different story (as I discuss below and in Part II), and the reporting of the story has subsequently been questioned by some, including Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division.

Transcript: Re AA [2012] EWHC 4378 (COP)

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