Salford CC v  W others (Religion and Declaration of Looked After Status)[2021] EWHC 61 (Fam)

February 1, 2021

Lorraine Cavanagh QC led Niamh Ross in this application for a prohibited steps order to prevent the prospective special guardians from allowing the children to receive the sacraments of the Roman Catholic faith until they were 16 years old. Pauline McHugh provided written submissions which provided considerable assistance to the court. The court evaluates the law on religion and SGOs and the preservation of the children’s religious upbringing and heritage after an SGO. The court declined to make the order on a welfare grounds. The court also determined that the Family Division of the High Court has the jurisdiction  to  declare whether the child was a looked after child during certain periods. This is an important case for guidance on the law relating to religious upbringing, restricting the SG’s PR beyond the SGO and the declaratory jurisdiction of the high court. The judgment is available here.