Martin Downs successfully represented Brighton and Hove City Council in an application to make a 16 year old boy a ward of Court and obtain orders to prevent him fighting in Syria’s civil war. The case has been prominently reported by the BBC and other news organisations.

The case was heard by Mr Justice Hayden on 17 March 2015 who said it appeared to be the first time that the Court had heard an application to make a child a ward to prevent them travelling to fight in a war.

Martin Downs, representing the council, said the boy had an uncle who had been held in the United States’ detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He said three of the boy’s brothers had gone to fight for the al-Nusra Front – a jihadist group with links to al-Qaeda and two of them had died while the third had been injured but was still fighting in Syria. A friend of the teenager had also been killed in fighting.

The Judge made the 16 year old a ward of Court. He said that the teenager and his brothers could not be named.