The Court of Appeal has recently upheld a mother’s challenge against a care order, but did not make an award of costs against the local authority that defended the case.
The case concerned a mother whose daughter had been taken into care after the mother had twice administered an epipen, believing the daughter to be suffering an allergic reaction. However, there was no medical justification for using the epipen, and the daughter was taken into care.
The Court of Appeal overturned the care order, but considered that the local authority was justified in defending the case. The mother’s application for costs was refused.
The parents in the case now face a costs bill of £20,000.
Lady Justice King said:
‘Unfortunately, as was said in Re T by Lord Phillips, justice cannot demand that any deficiency in legal aid funding should be made up out of the funds of the local authority.’
For more information, please see this article in the Law Gazette.