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Trinity Child Care Barrister in Significant Residential Placement Case


Trinity Child Care barrister, Kate Fenwick acted for the applicant Local Authority in the case of Re RD (Deprivation or Restriction of Liberty) [2018] EWFC 47 before the Honourable Mr Justice Cobb at the Newcastle Upon Tyne Family Court.

The Local Authority sought to place RD in a residential placement in rural Scotland under the auspices of a Care Order. Whilst all parties agreed that the identified placement was suitable for RD, the Guardian argued that, in her view, RD was being deprived of her liberty such that her Article 5 rights were engaged.

The case was finely balanced but Kate was successful in persuading the Court that RD’s regime within the placement did not amount to a deprivation of liberty. In both her written and oral argument, Kate was able to draw distinctions between support and supervision and relied upon the preliminary points made by the President in Re A-F (Children) [2018] EWHC 138 (Fam).

Kate also successfully argued that because the level of supervision in RD’s regime is directly linked to her behaviour and presentation, such supervision cannot be said to be ‘constant’ such that the ‘acid test’ in Cheshire West is satisfied.

The Court was “particularly assisted in considering the issues by the written and oral advocacy of Miss Fenwick… who [has] presented [her] arguments with considerable skill”.

Kate is a member of Trinity's Family, Court of Protection and Judicial Review teams.

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