The Court considered a decision granting to a father the care of his child who appeared to have become happily settled with the maternal grandmother.
Held: The grandmother’s appeal succeeded. The judge and court of appeal had misunderstood the effect of In re G, saying that it gave preference to a child living with his biological parents. The judge had allowed himself to be distracted from his central concern which was the welfare of the child, and had not given that concern the dominant position it should have occupied. The magistrates had found that they had not found compelling reasons for removing the child from the grandmother. That did not amount to them saying that such reasons were necessary.
In re G gave the final quietus to the notion that parental rights have any part to play in the assessment of where the best interests of a child lay.
Appeal courts should be careful about making orders resulting in sudden changes to care arrangements, particularly when a further appeal is indicated as likely.
Lord Hope, Deputy President, Lady Hale, Lord Collins, Lord Kerr, Lord Clarke
 UKSC 5,  1 WLR 2496,  1 All ER 223,  1 FCR 1,  Fam Law 143,  1 FLR 551
Children Act 1989
England and Wales
Cited – G v G (Minors: Custody appeal) CA 1985
A court should take great care before setting aside a decision of a judge which had involved the exercise of a judicial discretion. The court considered the duty of an appellate court in a children case: ‘What this court should seek to do is to . .
Cited – In Re G (A Minor) (Interim Care Order: Residential Assessment); G (Children), In Re (Residence: Same Sex Partner) HL 26-Jul-2006
The parties had been a lesbian couple each with children. Each now was in a new relationship. One registered the two daughters of the other at a school now local to her but without first consulting the birth mother, who then applied for residence . .
Cited – Re L (Psychologist – Duty To The Court) FD 20-Dec-2011
The court had made findings of non-accidental injury caused by the parents. A psychologist called in to assist the court was sympathetic to the parents invited the court to reconsider its findings of fact.
Held: The expert had gone beyond her . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 02 November 2021; Ref: scu.380324