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Case details

In the matter of H-W (Children) No 2

Case ID: 2021/0215

Case summary


When an appellate court reviews a first instance decision concerning the proportionality of orders made under the courts’ obligations under the Human Rights Act 1998, is it necessary for the appellate court to undertake its own proportionality assessment of that decision?


The First Appellant, M, is the mother of six children including C, D, E, and F. Following longstanding concerns related to both sexual abuse by their elder brother A and neglect, in March 2020 the local authority issued proceedings seeking to take C, D, and E into its care and place them in three separate foster homes. It also sought that M’s newly born child F (daughter of the Second Appellant F3) be removed for adoption.

Following two hearings, Judge McPhee found that E had been sexually assaulted by her brother, A, and that M and F3 had both failed to protect the children from sexual abuse and delayed reporting the assault. Judge McPhee ultimately concluded that it would not be safe for C, D, and E to remain in the care of M and F3 and therefore made the care orders sought. A final decision in respect of F was postponed.

The First Appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal, which by a two to one majority decision dismissed the appeal.

Judgment appealed

[2021] EWCA 1451





Hertfordshire County Council Children's Services



Lord Hodge, Lord Kitchin, Lord Burrows, Lord Hughes, Dame Siobhan Keegan

Hearing start date

22 March 2022

Hearing finish date

22 March 2022

Watch hearing
22 March 2022 Morning session Afternoon session

Reporting restrictions

In the matter H-W (Children) No 2

Case ID: UKSC 2021/0215

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


Future Judgment Update

Please note that appeal in the matter of In the matter of H-W (Children) No 2 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.