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Legal issue

Posted: Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:05 am
by ied53
Hello asking for a friend if a child ( under SGO) is on holiday with the birth parent/s without the guardian and they decline to return the child . Can the SGO be enforced? Is it recognised in law in other countries? in this particular instance Scotland. Can the order be enforced to return the child. What steps would need to be taken. This situation had a lot of SG concerned as to enforceability of the order especially in more relaxed contact situations.

Re: Legal issue

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:17 pm
by Suzie, FRG Adviser
Dear ied53

Welcome back to the Family and Friends Carers discussion board.

The question that you have asked is, am sure, as you have said in your post of concern to special guardians who might be worried about a child not being returned after contact.

There is a process that would allow a special guardian to seek the return of the child or children from Scotland, for example. As you may be aware, Scotland is a different legal system but there are English legal rules to deal with situations as that raised in your question (under the Family Law Act 1986 (FLA1986):

If the special guardianship order made in England /Wales has been registered in Scotland it is enforceable. If not, to ensure that the order is enforceable, an application should be made to register the order and apply for enforcement proceedings in Scotland. In order to register the special guardianship order, an application should be made to the court which originally made the order for it to be registered in the other jurisdiction under the FLA 1986.

Under sections 33 and34 of the FLA 1986 a court can order disclosure of child’s whereabouts and recovery. The requirement to disclose child’s whereabouts can be for a relative or someone else (if the person applying believe the person knows) to do so.

It is also possible to make an application to the High Court to use its powers (known as the inherent jurisdiction), to make the child a ward of court which should then enable the court to make orders for the immediate return of the child to the applicant. The orders would be registered in Scotland and enforceable.

I suggest that your friend seek legal advice regarding this matter.

I hope this helps but should you wish to speak to an adviser, do telephone our free and confidential advice line on 0808 801 0366. The advice line is open from 9.30am to 3pm Monday to Friday (except Bank Holidays).

Best wishes


Re: Legal issue

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:10 pm
by ied53
Thank you Suzy