Re S (Minors)(Care Order: Appeal); Dyfed County Council v S, Re S (Discharge of Care Order): CA 6 Sep 1995

Discharge of care order is the appropriate procedure not an appeal after very long time. The court considered its approach in admitting new evidence on appeal in family law cases: ‘The willingness of the family jurisdiction to relax the ordinary rules of issue estoppel, and (at the appellate stage) the constraints of Ladd v Marshall [1954] 1 WLR 1489 upon the admission of new evidence, does not originate from laxity or benevolence but from recognition that where children are concerned there is liable to be an infinite variety of circumstance whose proper consideration in the best interests of the child is not to be trammelled by the arbitrary imposition of procedural rules. That is a policy whose sole purpose, however, is to preserve flexibility to deal with unusual circumstances.’ and ‘In the general run of cases the family courts (including the Court of Appeal when it is dealing with applications in the family jurisdiction) will be every bit as alert as courts in other jurisdictions to see to it that no one is allowed to litigate afresh issues that have already been determined. The maxim ‘sit finis litis’ is, as a general rule, rigorously enforced in children cases, where the statutory objective of an early determination of questions concerning the upbringing of a child expressed in s 1(2) of the Children Act is treated as requiring that such determination shall not only be swift but final.’


Waite LJ


Gazette 06-Sep-1995, [1995] 2 FLR 639


Children Act 1989 1(2)


England and Wales

Cited by:

CitedIn re K (Children) (Non-accidental injuries: Perpetrator: New Evidence) CA 27-Aug-2004
The children had been taken into care, and freed for adoption. The mother appealed saying the blame for non-accidental injury was misplaced. The court had not thought her responsible for the non-accidental injuries, but she had been unwilling to . .
CitedWebster (the Parents) v Norfolk County Council and others CA 11-Feb-2009
Four brothers and sisters had been adopted after the parents had been found to have abused them. The parents now had expert evidence that the injuries may have been the result of scurvy, and sought leave to appeal.
Held: Leave was refused. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 20 December 2022; Ref: scu.85875