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Local authorities must address parents' learning disabilities

Noel Arnold and Hazel Kent discuss the test for making placement orders, without notice applications and damages for human rights breaches

16 December 2014

M-H (A Child) [2014] EWCA Civ 1396 concerned the mother’s appeal against a placement order (PO) made in relation to her daughter. The appeal considered whether the first instance judge, Her Honour Judge Jakens, applied the correct test in dispensing the parents’ consent and making a PO; and if HHJ Jakens did, whether she adequately analysed the expert evidence in conducting a proper balancing exercise regarding long-term fostering as opposed to adoption.

The correct test to be applied in this instance is provided by section 52(1)(b) and 1(4) Adoption and Children Act 2002 (

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