Joint Practice Note: Cafcass and Official Solicitor – urgent out of hours applications in relation to medical treatment concerning children

Cafcass and the Official Solicitor have published a joint practice note dated January 2023 “intended to assist the judiciary and legal representatives when dealing with urgent out of hours applications for orders in relation to medical treatment concerning children.” In particular, the Practice Note makes clear that “In medical treatment cases concerning children […], it is Cafcass and not the Official Solicitor who should be approached to provide representation for the child.”

The Practice Note can be read here.

It is important to note that this Practice Note relates to applications under the Children Act 1989 (for a specific issue order) or the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court.  If the proceedings were brought under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (as they could be in relation to a 16/17 year old lacking the relevant decision-making capacity), then it would be the Official Solicitor rather than Cafcass who should be approached

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