The child, who was only hours old was secretly filmed being removed from the family home in Staffordshire under an emergency protection order.

Seeking to protect the identity of the child, the County Council had applied for an injunction to the remove the footage. However the High Court, whilst making an order preventing the child from being identified by name, stated parents had the right to air their views.

By allowing the footage, the Judge’s ruling is likely to fuel the current public debate on the operation of the care and family justice system. For some time, concern has been expressed about the private nature of the court process, with many describing the proceedings as inappropriately 'secret'.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Sally Jones, children law specialist at Anthony Collins Solicitors commented:

“Whilst the interests of the parents are very important, these should be balanced against the need to deliver effective child protection. Excessive critical media exposure could well prove a deterrent to the recruitment and retention of social workers.

“The Judge’s decision reflects a growing Judicial desire for transparency in the very serious process of taking a child into care.

“Care proceedings are highly sensitive, serious and often very distressing cases. Before a child is removed from the family home, the case is evaluated by several experts and all parties, including parents and children are entitled to individual legal representation.

“This ensures that the best outcomes are achieved for some of the most vulnerable children in the region.”

For more information

If you’d like to know more, please contact Sally Jones on 0121 214 3720 or email sally.jones@anthonycollins.com.

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