In re W (Children) (Care proceedings: Disclosure): FD 11 Jul 2003

The authority had received confidential information from the police about mistreatment of a child by a father. The allegation was unknown to the mother. It sought directions from the court as to the extent to which it could breach that confidentiality in order to protect the child.
Held: The authority was under a duty to investigate so far as it could. Non-disclosure in care proceedings should only be ordered when the case for it was compelling. The mother’s solicitor should be made aware of the activities in the background subject to an undertaking as to the details. The mother should be made aware since she herself had child protection responsibility, and would be obliged to keep matters disclosed to her confidential under the 1960 Act.


Wall J


Times 21-Jul-2003, Gazette 18-Sep-2003


Administration of Justice Act 1960 12


England and Wales


CitedOfficial Solicitor to the Supreme Court v K HL 1965
Legal representatives of a party were entitled to have disclosed to them of ‘behind the scenes’ investigation in a care matter in which their client was involved, but should be requested to undertake not to pass on details to their client. . .
CitedRe M (Disclosure) FD 20-May-1998
Children proceedings must not become overburdened by expert evidence which vastly increase expense. Closer case management was urged by courts as urged. Disclosure of background reports to a legal adviser under conditions of confidentiality was . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Children, Local Government

Updated: 20 April 2022; Ref: scu.184727