MN & KN v London Borough of Hackney


Citation: [2013] EWHC 1205 (Admin)

Tom Amraoui successfully represented the defendant local authority in this challenge to the authority’s decision to refuse to accommodate a Jamaican family who sought to be supported under section 17 of the Children Act 1989. Mr Justice Leggatt held that the local authority had acted lawfully in declining to accept that the children were children in need, thus no duty or power arose with which to provide the claimants or their children with accommodation and support under section 17 (or section 20) of the 1989 Act. The decision also raises broader points likely to be of interest to local authorities -not least the refusal by Leggatt J to follow the January 2013 decision in R (KA) v Essex City Council [2013] EWHC 43 (Admin) (extending as it does the well-known principles set out in Birmingham City Council v Clue [2011] 1 WLR 99), against which an appeal is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal later this year. The judgment is also noteworthy for its consideration of article 8 rights and the ‘best interests’ of children in the context of local authority human rights assessments.

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