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Children (Care Proceedings)

Volume 987: debated on Friday 27 June 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will consider amending the rules on legal aid to enable this facility to be available for parents whose children are the subject of care proceedings under the Children's Act.

Sections 64 and 65 of the Children Act 1975 enable courts to grant parents legal aid in care proceedings where the court finds that there is a conflict of interest between parents and child and makes an order prohibiting the parents from acting on the child's behalf. Such orders can now be made only in unopposed proceedings for the discharge of care or supervision orders but, when additional resources become available, power to make orders and grant parents legal aid will extend to all proceedings in which courts see a conflict of interest. No amendment of court rules is necessary to achieve this.