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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Haley, R (on the application of) v London Borough Of Harrow  EWCA Civ 87 (16 January 2001)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 87
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COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
ADMINISTRATIVE COURT LIST
(Mr Justice Scott Baker)
Tuesday, 16th January 2001
B e f o r e :
|ON THE APPLICATION OF TIMOTHY JAMES LAWRIE HALEY|
|- v -|
|LONDON BOROUGH OF HARROW|
of Smith Bernal Reporting Limited
190 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AG
Telephone No: 0171-421 4040
Fax No: 0171-831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Crown Copyright ©
"On January 14th 1999, Harrow Social Services perpetrated several ambiguous 'errors' and irregularities before, during and after the child protection conference of my daughter S (15). [That is a reference to her then age.]This turned the conference into a very unfair trial, in which S and her brother R, as well as myself became victims.
We are thereby entitled to call upon the Article of the Human Rights Convention in our defence. The conference violated Articles 6.1, 6.2, 6.3b, 6.3c, 6.3d and 14."
"51. What emerged from the hearing before Scott Baker J was that Dr H's real complaint was not the fact that S had been registered as a result of the Child Protection Conference, but something quite different; that is to say, that both S and R had been, as Dr H would have it, denied the therapy and treatment that, as he saw it, they needed. This is brought out clearly and repeatedly in passages from the transcript of the hearing before Scott Baker J, which it is convenient that I should read: 'DR H: But unfortunately this is actually not so, if I might say, in that the case conference is denying my children the therapy and treatment that they need. MR JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER:So it is your children you are really concerned about?DR H: Yes. MR JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: That you deal with through the Family Division and through applications to the Family Division judge. DR H: There is also the fact that I have been summarily judged as being the guilty one of the emotional abuse, whereas in fact the material in the case conference, in the social services own written record, is that Mrs JH was also guilty of emotional abuse. MR JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: That is something you resolve procedure against the local authority [I interpolate that the text is corrupt there], if you have got a complaint with regard to the case conference, or you can raise it with the family judge in the course of family proceedings..' 52. A little later on, the transcript records Dr H saying:
'And, further, the results of this has been that my children haven't been helped in any way for their sexual abuse, and the local authority, the child protection conference, had manifestly not considered the material.'53. A little later:
'MR JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER: Your children's names, are they on a child abuse register, are they?DR H: My daughter is, yes. MR JUSTICE SCOTT BAKER:But that is not what you are complaining about here, is it? DR H:No. It's primarily the fact that the sexual abuse of both children, which has been very systematically covered up now for five years - more, six - nothing has actually been done about this. And the local authority, despite their statutory obligation to consider all the material, have done nothing of the sort. And further it was not considered in the CPC... This is an extremely serious matter for my children.'54. Finally, very shortly before Scott Baker J gave judgment.
55. Dr H, in the course of submissions to him said:
'How do I get these people to actually help my children with their sexual abuse. Everyone has known about this for five years, and they hide it up, and Mr B just says 'throw it in the complaints'. This is destroying the life of my children.'56. To that I should add this, as Hale J said in her judgment on 14th June 1999:
'The father wanted her [I interpolate S] put on the Child Protection Register at the Case Conference in January of this year, when she saw that as a threat and definitely did not want it to happen. They had a row in the car park and in a restaurant in Pinner as a result.'"
"This application is entirely hopeless. I would endorse all of the reasoning in the judgment of Munby J, in particular paragraphs 58 onwards where he sets out the reasons for refusing the renewed application to seek judicial review. Quite apart from anything else, the proposed assault on the Child Protection Conference of 14/1/99 would be water under the bridge for the reasons explained by the judge at para 81. I would also emphasise what is said at para 82."
"60. Dr H has persisted in making what, in my judgment, are manifestly groundless and, indeed, absurd allegations against the London Borough of Harrow, and indeed as we have seen against numerous other people, of fraud, forgery and perjury. There is, in my judgment, simply no basis, no even arguable basis for any of those allegations.
61. Secondly and as Johnson J, if I may respectfully say so, correctly observed in dismissing this application on paper, Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights has no application in the circumstances of the present case. That I emphasise is not because the Human Rights Act 1998 has not yet come into force, it is because a Child Protection Conference is simply not a 'tribunal' within the meaning of and for the purposes of Article 6, and because a Child Protection Conference is not concerned with the 'determination of civil rights' which alone brings into operation Article 6 of the Convention.
74. The London Borough of Harrow accepts that the Complaints Procedure under section 26(3) of the Children Act 1989 is not available, insofar as the complaints made by Dr H are directed against the Child Protection Conference as a multi-agency body.
75. However, the Harrow Area Child Protection Committee which has overall responsibility for Child Protection Conferences convened by the London Borough of Harrow has a complaints procedure entitled the 'ACPC Complaints Procedure' which is dated 12th January 1995. That is a complaints procedure of the sort that local authorities are recommended to have by paragraph 5.72 of the Department of Health's document, 'Working Together to Safeguard Children'.
81. Fifthly, in my judgment, there is no useful purpose in 'declaring the CPC invalid' which is the relief Dr H seeks. The fact is, it is water under the bridge and it has in large measure been overtaken, firstly by the outcome of the hearing before Hale J on 16th June 1999 and, secondly, by the fact that S is now over the age of 16 being, as I have said, 16 years 8 months old. [I interpolate that Dr Haley this morning tells me that S is now over 17.] Such relief would not in fact address Dr H's real complaint or do anything to achieve his real objectives, being objectives identified by him to Scott Baker J and to which I have already made reference.
82. Sixthly, in large measure this is, in my judgment, an attempt to reopen matters that were canvassed before Hale J and in the Court of Appeal. Dr H had a full opportunity to comment on the Child Protection Conference to Hale J and to the Court of Appeal. Whether or not he availed himself of that opportunity, it is not right now to go behind Hale J's findings on 14th June 1999, upheld as they were by the Court of Appeal, as to the inutility of any further judicial exploration of Dr H's allegations in relation to sexual abuse."