CS v SBH and others

Family proceedings – Orders in Family proceedings. The court remained the ultimate arbiter of whether a child had understanding or sufficient understanding to act without a children's guardian. The Queen's Bench Division so ruled in determining preliminary issues which arose concerning the dismissal of a mother's application to vary an order that the child live with her father (the decision). The court held that an appeal against the decision was a continuation of the first instance proceedings and, accordingly, FPR 16.6(5) (concerning a child's application for the removal of the litigation friend or children's guardian) applied. It further held that, on the facts of the case, the child did not have sufficient understanding to conduct an appeal without a children's guardian, that the guardian who had been appointed in the earlier proceedings remained appointed, and that the solicitor appointed by that guardian was not obliged to conduct the proceedings in accordance with instructions received from the child but, rather, in accordance with instructions received from the guardian.

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