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More 'Dear Sam' letters?

Carla Ditz looks at the recent decision of Mr Justice Jackson in which he delivered his judgment in the form of a letter to a 14-year-old boy

6 September 2017

Re A (Letter to a Young Person) [2017] EWFC 48 concerned an application by the father for the relocation of his son (“Sam”), aged 14, to Scandinavia. The father’s application was opposed by the mother and step-father. Ultimately, permission to remove Sam from the jurisdiction was refused, as was permission for the boy to apply for citizenship.

The judgment was read to the parents by Mr Justice Jackson in the form of a letter (save for four introductory paragraphs). The letter was then given to Sam’s solicitor for him to see once he returned from a school trip.

Jackson J starts his letter to Sam by saying, “This case is about you and your future, so I am writing this letter as a way of giving my decision to you and to your parents.” He then explains the law in straightforward terms, namely that section 1 of the Children Act 1989 states that the child’s welfare is the court’s paramount consideration.

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