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Case details

In the matter of T (A Child) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0188

Case summary


  1. In circumstances where insufficient places are available in registered secure children's homes, is the exercise of the inherent jurisdiction to authorise a child's placement in unregistered secure accommodation lawful?
  2. If it is, what legal test should the courts apply when determining whether to exercise the inherent jurisdiction?
  3. Is a child's consent to the confinement of any relevance when determining whether to exercise the inherent jurisdiction?


The appellant, T, was a 15-year-old child who was subject to a care order. The local authority, CBC, wished to place T in secure accommodation. Since there were no places available in registered secure children's homes, CBC applied to the High Court for orders under its inherent jurisdiction authorising T's placement in non-statutory accommodation. T had consented to the restrictions on her liberty in the placements sought and submitted that the orders restricting her liberty were, therefore, unnecessary.

The High Court did not consider that consent to be valid, and duly made the orders sought by CBC. T seeks to challenge those orders. She does not object to the placements or the restrictions on her liberty, but wishes to be recognised as capable of consenting in law.

The Court of Appeal dismissed her appeal. T now appeals to the Supreme Court.



T (A child)



Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones, Lady Arden, Lord Hamblen, Lord Stephens.

Hearing start date

28 Oct 2020

Hearing finish date

29 Oct 2020

Watch hearing
28 Oct 2020 Morning session Afternoon session
29 Oct 2020 Morning session

Reporting restrictions

In the matter of T (A Child) (Appellant)

Case ID: UKSC 2019/0188

THE COURT ORDERED that no one shall publish or reveal the name or address of the Appellant who is the subject of these proceedings or publish or reveal any information which would be likely to lead to the identification of the Appellant or of any member of her family in connection with these proceedings.


Future Judgment Update

Please note that appeal in the matter of In the matter of T (A Child) (Appellant) has been heard by the Supreme Court and is currently awaiting judgment.

As soon as the judgment hand-down date is confirmed, it will be published on the Future judgments page of this website. As a very broad indication, judgments tend to follow between three to nine months after the conclusion of the appeal hearing, although in some cases it may be earlier than that. Information about judgment hand-downs is usually announced one week in advance. We are unable to give any indication of the likely hand-down date for judgments not listed on the Future judgments page.