Local authority test case

A major test case on local authority accountability is heading for the Lords, with both sides mounting appeals. The case centres on a claim against Essex County Council over its failure to tell a family with whom it placed a foster child that the child was a known sex abuser.

The Appeal Court last April upheld a High Court ruling that the family was entitled to sue the council. Claims that, as a matter of public policy, local authorities should not be held accountable in respect of incidents such as this were rejected. Leave for the council to appeal to the Law Lords was also given.

Now, however, the family has also been given leave by the Lords to appeal aspects of the decision. Family and children's law expert Allan Levy QC represents the family.