In the matter of D (A Child) [2019] UKSC 42 (UK Supreme Court, 26 September 2019) 

The UK Supreme Court has given its judgment on whether parental consent to the living arrangements of a 16 or 17-year-old could prevent such arrangements from amounting to a deprivation of liberty within the meaning of Article 5 ECHR. In the leading judgment, Lady Hale held that parental consent could not be used as a substitute for the young person’s consent even in instances where the young person lacked the mental capacity to consent. As such, Article 5 of the ECHR was engaged, and D was to enjoy the procedural safeguards afforded by the Article. 

Written submissions in respect to whether the living arrangements of D could be considered Secure Accommodation were put to the Court after the conclusion of the hearing. Lady Black provided analysis of these written submissions, although it should be noted that these were merely obiter dictum. At paragraph 113 of the judgment, Lady Black noted: “There is much force in the argument that it is upon the accommodation itself that the spotlight should be turned, when determining whether particular accommodation, rather than upon the attributes of the care of the child in question.”
Such analysis was agreed to by Lady Hale, Lord Carnwarth and Lord Lloyd-Jones, and may prove illustrative of how the Supreme Court will deal with questions of Secure Accommodation in future.

Read more here.

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